Game Preview: Islanders vs. Capitals

BY DAVID KOLB

WASHINGTON CAPITALS (20-8-4) @ NEW YORK ISLANDERS (13-14-6)
Live game coverage begins at 6:30 PM on MSG+2

METRO BATTLE

Tonight the Washington Capitals visit Brooklyn in a Metropolitan Division battle against the Islanders at Barclays Center for the fourth of five games the two clubs will play this season. The Caps hold a 2-1 edge in the series, which will draw to a close Jan. 31 in Brooklyn.

NEEDING A 91-LIFTOFF

For the Islanders to begin a playoff run, their captain John Tavares needs to catch fire as we approach the halfway point in the season. Tavares has 10 goals and 14 assists for 24 points this season and in three games against Washington this season he has only one assist in an average of 18:58 of ice-time.

OV LOOKING FOR GOAL NO. 1

Alex Ovechkin has scored 15 goals this season, including one on Friday against the Tampa Bay Lightning. Ovechkin has been held without a point in each of the first three games against the Islanders and takes the ice tonight with 24 points in 32 games, including six power play goals and five game-winners.

STROME ON THE UPSWING

Ryan Strome scored and set up another goal in Friday’s rout over the Sabres, and now has three goals (and four points) in his last five games. Strome has five goals and five assists for 10 points this season, including the Islanders only goal scored in their 2-1 loss to the Capitals on Oct. 15.

HOLTBY SHARP

Caps goalie Braden Holtby has returned to his dominant self, recording his third shutout of the season and 26th of his career on Friday against the Lightning to improve his record to 5-1-2 with a 1.47 goals against average and .949 save percentage in his last eight starts. Holtby takes the crease tonight with a 15-7-3 record with a 1.83 goals against average with a .934 save percentage.