BY: DAVID KOLB
WASHINGTON CAPITALS (17-7-3) @ NEW YORK ISLANDERS (11-11-5)
Live Game Coverage Begins at 6:30 PM on MSG+
METRO RIVALS FACEOFF
Tonight in Brooklyn, the Islanders face off against their Metropolitan Division rivals in the Washington Capitals. The clubs have split the first two games of the season series at the Verizon Center, as New York and Washington play out their remaining tilts at the Barclays Center — once on Dec. 27 and again on Jan. 31.
THE RACE IS ON
After losing to the Islanders during their last meeting, the Capitals have rebounded and are now 4-0-1 since. The Islanders meanwhile need to gain points tonight, as they hope to quickly rebound from having their six-game point streak snapped on Saturday in Columbus.
Captain John Tavares will carry a three-game goal streak and a five-game point streak (3 goals, 2 assists) into tonight’s contest. The Isles’ top center has eight points (4 goals, 4 assists) in his last eight games and leads New York with nine goals and 13 assists for 22 points in 27 games — including six power-play points.
Ovechkin could come into Brooklyn with a hot hand, as he snapped his scoreless streak at seven games on Sunday with a power-play goal and an assist in the Caps 3-0 win over the Vancouver Canucks. Since Sunday, the Washington winger had not scored since recording a hat trick against the Blues on Nov. 23.
D GETTING HEALTHY
The Islanders received good news on Monday when Johnny Boychuk (exited Saturday’s game after getting hit with a blocked shot) skated in practice, indicating his injury was of the minor variety. Meanwhile, backliner Adam Pelech who has been on the injured reserve since Nov. 28 skated on Monday as well; however, Pelech will not be ready for tonight’s tilt against the Caps.