Caps Take New York – Two Teams, One Town.
The Caps meet the Islanders for the first time during the regular season in their new home in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center tonight. This is the Caps fourth away game—they have one more on Saturday against rival Rangers. The boys practiced at Boston University before heading to New York on Wednesday. The Caps did not hold morning skate today.
The Islanders have not played since taking down the current second place Dallas Stars 6-5 on Sunday. The Isles had 44 shots on goal in that game. The last time these two teams met was in the 2015 playoffs. Their last playoff matchup resulted in a 2-1 Islanders loss with goals by Evgeny Kuznetsov and Joel Ward. They may have a score to settle with the Washington Capitals not only did the Caps knock them out of the playoffs in the first round but they shut down Nassau Coliseum. Can Kuzy have a repeat performance and help lead the Caps to victory?
New Player Added
The Caps acquired Center Mike Richards from the Los Angeles Kings on Wednesday; his contract is for just one year. Richards has two Stanley Cups to his credit, and like fellow former teammate, Justin Williams, brings years of experience and has previously led the league in short-handed goals. He could be just what the team needs to energize its penalty kill. He will not play against the Islanders but could be added to the roster against the Rangers on Saturday. He will wear number 10.
Jay Beagle had hand surgery Sunday, according to the Washington Capitals and has been placed on the injured reserve list. Up to six weeks before his return. He has missed three games.
John Carlson skated before practice on Monday and traveled with the team to Boston. H did not skate in practice. He has missed 5 games. Carlson not in against Islanders—maybe Rangers.
Brooks Orpik is on the Long-term Injured Reserve list for an undisclosed injury. He has missed 25 games and there is no timetable for his return.
Zach Sill was suspended by the NHL Department of Player Safety for two games for boarding Boston Bruins Adam McQuaid on Monday.
All About the Islanders: Who to Keep an Eye On
Jaroslav Halak was activated off the injured reserve list Wednesday. He has been out since 21 December for an undisclosed upper-body injury. No announcement if he will be back in the net. Halak has always been a thorn in the side of the Caps when in the opposing net.
Goalie Thomas Griess, who was in the net against Dallas, could get the nod. He has 12 wins in 20 games and a .928 save percentage. The team credited him with much of their success in beating, the then number one team, Dallas.
When matched on the power play, Okposo and Tavares are a formidable force.
Right wing Kyle Okposo (21) leads the Islanders in points (31) and assists (21). He also has 21 penalty minutes and three power play goals. He has three game winning goals. He led the team with time on ice.
John Tavares (91) (center) leads the team goals at 15. He has three power play goals and four game winning goals this season.
Cal Cutterback (15) (right wing) had three shots on goal against the stars and two goals.
Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 21 goals and is four away from 500 NHL career goals. He is fifth in the NHL. He also is two games away from a career 800 NHL games.
Jason Chimera is four assists away from an NHL career 200 assists.
Taylor Chorney – is two games shy of 100 NHL games played
Braden Holtby, with 124 career games won is three wins games away from passing Don Beaupre (128) for second place on the Caps franchise list.
Michael Latta is four games away from a career 100 NHL/Capitals games played.
Thu Jan 7, 2016 Capitals Islanders, 7:00 PM CSN-DC, TVAS, SN360
Sat Jan 9, 2016 Capitals Rangers, 1:00 PM CSN-DC, SNE, SNO, SNP
Photos by Brittney Marcum