Capitals vs Islanders NHL Betting Predictions
The confounding Columbus Blue Jackets knocked off the mighty Washington Capitals (28-7-3) with a shootout win on Saturday night, and the Caps continue a road trip that will take them to the Barclays Center on Thursday night to take on the New York Islanders. The Caps have lost the first two on their road trip — and they gave up the equalizer against Columbus with 1:08 left in the third period. However, the Capitals do not yet believe that there is reason to worry. As Alex Ovechkin told ESPN.com, “We didn’t have that kind of slump like when you go down and you go up. We probably have all this year been at the same level. So it’s a good thing. We just have to stick with it and play the same way.” Find the latest NHL betting lines here.
Washington Capitals vs New York Islanders NHL Betting Predictions and Game Preview
— New York Islanders (@NYIslanders) January 5, 2016
To be sure, the Capitals remain at the top of the standings in the Eastern Conference and, for some, atop the power rankings for the entire NHL. They rank second in the NHL in goals scored (3.1) and goals permitted (2.2), and on power play scoring (25.6%).
The Islanders (22-13-5) will not have played since Sunday, when they held off the Dallas Stars for a 6-5 win. The Stars are atop the Western Conference standings, so knocking them off was no small feat. Cal Clutterbuck was the big star for the Islanders in that one, scoring two goals even though he was just a game-time addition to the roster after suffering an upper-body injury in the Isles’ Saturday loss to Pittsburgh. Kyle Okposo added two goals of his own, as well as an assist. The Islanders entered the second period tied with Dallas 2-2 but scored three unanswered goals to build a 5-2 lead. The Stars mounted a furious rally in the third period but ended up giving up another goal. Kari Lehtonen permitted six goals on 44 shots, which means that the Islanders are getting plenty of chances to the net. The Islanders are ninth in the NHL in goals per game (2.8) and in goals permitted (2.4). Their power play percentage ranks #18 (18.8%), but their penalty kill is #2 (85.6%).
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
The Capitals seem to have a bit of a skid. I would pay attention to the results of their Tuesday night game in Boston. If they can right the ship, then I would pick the Caps to knock off New York, 4-2. If the B’s can make it three road losses in a row for Washington, though, then I would pick the Islanders to make it four, by a 2-1 margin.