GAME TIME IS 7 pm ET
Washington Capitals: 41-10-4
NY Islanders: 30-19-6
This Thursday the 41-10-4 Washington Capitals face off against 30-19-6 New York Islanders in Brooklyn. The two Eastern Conference rivals found themselves grinding through a tough seven=game playoff series in which the Capitals came out on top to advance to the second round. The key to beating a tough Islanders team is beating none other than the guy who was public enemy number one for a Caps team that struggled in the 2010 playoffs vs the Montreal Canadians, Jaroslav Halak.
The Islanders are now facing what teams hate the most, a goaltending controversy. Jaroslav Halak has not had a season to remember having a record of 13-12-4 and a GAA of 2.42, but the big story emerging from Brooklyn, is Thomas Greiss who has an impressive 16-6-2 record this season with a GAA of 2.16. Fortunately for the Washington Capitals it is set in stone who the franchise goalie is and who the backup is. Braden Holtby looks to further his dominate success this season Thursday evening in Brooklyn against the Islanders. Holtby is 2-0 against the Islanders this season.
When it comes down to the season so far, the Caps are a better team, not only because of the standings, that’s obvious, but the Capitals are just a dangerous team all around. Not many people are going to have stories come seasons-end about crushing the Capitals.
Keys to the game: Washington capitals.
- Don’t give the Islanders any power plays; they are sixth in goals per game.
- Get in the zone and move the puck around, work the D and goalie. They’ll get tired and take a penalty or better, score and the number one team in the NHL knows a thing or two about scoring.
- Watch for John Tavares 21 goals 25 assists and Brock Nelson 21 goals 12 assists, they both average close to 20 minutes of ice time this season so there’s the threat of breakaway, they’ll be watching for any bad turnovers.
Keys to the game for the New York Islanders:
- DEFENSE DEFENSE DEFENSE. The Capitals have the number one offense with the number one scorer, Alex Ovechkin
- Protect the crease; Capitals are a team that capitalizes on any loose pucks in the crease.
- Don’t take any penalties. With players like Kuznetsov, Backstrom, Ovechkin, its almost guaranteed that they will score on any power play. If they don’t, they will move the puck in the offensive zone and make any offense tired.
Jay Beagle: We are ready for his return…
By Timothy Stromberg
Photos by Brittney Marcum