Islanders Eye Knockout
The New York Islanders can all but eliminate one of the teams chasing them for a playoff spot when they visit the Washington Capitals in a Metropolitan Division showdown on Wednesday.
The Islanders earned a huge victory at home Monday when they dispatched the playoff-bound New Jersey Devils 5-1, solidifying their top spot in the Eastern Conference wild-card race with seven games left. The Pittsburgh Penguins own the last wild card, while the Florida Panthers are ninth in the East, six points behind the Islanders with one game in hand.
The Capitals enjoyed three days off after suffering a damaging 4-3 defeat against the Penguins on Saturday. Washington has managed just one victory in its past five contests (1-3-1) and trailed Pittsburgh by six points in the East with eight games remaining going into Tuesday.
Washington has not missed the playoffs since 2006-07 and the Islanders did not qualify for the postseason in 2021-22 after reaching the Eastern Finals the previous two seasons.
Palmieri Leading Isles
Veteran forward Kyle Palmieri registered three points in Monday’s victory and boasts five goals and five assists in his past six games for the Islanders.
New York continues to stay on pace for a playoff spot despite being without Mathew Barzal for more than a month due to a lower-body injury, and the standout center has reportedly yet to resume skating. They will need more from center Bo Horvat, who snapped an 11-game goal drought with an empty netter Monday.
“I know I have to be better and start pulling my weight around here for sure . . . I think I definitely have another level to my game where I can be a lot better.”
New wings tonight for Bo Horvat as #Isles try to re-spark his scoring vs. #NJDevils https://t.co/IngoPSjkeb
— Andrew Gross (@AGrossNewsday) March 27, 2023
Brock Nelson leads the Islanders with 68 points and defenseman Noah Dobson continues to produce with five points and a plus-7 rating over his last six contests,
While the Islanders rank fourth in the NHL in goals against (2.68) entering Tuesday, the over is 6-2-1 in their last nine games and 4-0-2 versus Metropolitan foes in the past six, according to NHL lines.
Capitals Need Streak
Washington made a few moves at the trade deadline with eyes on 2023-24, but no doubt the Capitals remained optimistic they could sneak into the playoffs.
However, following two wins to open March, Washington is just 3-5-2 since and won just two of its past five home games (2-1-2).
Alex Ovechkin has been on a hot streak with five goals in his last four games and needs eight more to reach 50 for the 10th time in his career.
Washington can score, going 8-for-19 on the power play the past six games. However, the Capitals allow a lot of goals, too. The over, in sports betting, was 8-0 in their last eight contests.
The Capitals have also gotten a boost from defenseman John Carlson, who returned from a three-month absence due to a fractured skull to record a goal and two assists, along with 10 shots on net in the past two games.
Islanders vs Capitals Game Injuries
Islanders vs Capitals Head-to-Head
Washington won both meetings this season and the teams face each other again at Capital One Arena on April 10.
The Capitals earned a 4-3 overtime victory on Jan. 16 with a goal from defenseman Dmitry Orlov, who has since been traded to Boston. Defenseman Rasmus Sandin had three assists and Darcy Kuemper stopped 17 shots in a 5-1 triumph at the Islanders on March 11.
The Islanders have won just two of their last nine against Washington, but two of the losses were in a shootout.
The over is 3-0-0 in the last three matchups – according to NHL betting lines – between the Metropolitan Division rivals and the visiting team has won six of the past nine.
The Islanders are +3300 to win the East, while the Caps are a longshot at +10000.
Islanders vs Capitals Game Information
- Game: Islanders (38-28-9) vs Capitals (34-32-8)
- Day/Time: Wednesday, March 29, 7:30 p.m. ET
- Location: Capital One Arena, Washington DC
- Islanders vs Capitals Live stream: NHL.TV
Islanders vs Capitals Betting Lines
Islanders vs Capitals Picks and Prediction
Standout goalie Ilya Sorokin has not had success against the Capitals (1-2-1) in his short NHL career, but the Russian is 7-1-1 in March after making 30 saves Monday,
Kuemper has won both meetings in the series this season but is just 4-4-1 with a .898 save percentage in 10 career contests against the Islanders.
This game could go either way. Washington may play with desperation and the Islanders might let down after the big win Monday. But Sorokin is also due against the Caps and the Isles could ride their momentum.
The pick here is Sorokin and the Islanders to keep moving forward.
The Islanders are listed at -110 in our Las Vegas NHL odds. This means that if you wager $100 on New York, you have a chance to win 91. The Capitals are -110, offering a chance to win 91 on a $100 wager.
The implied probability attached to the betting lines gives the Islanders a 52.38% chance to win, with Washington at 52.38%.