After their most impressive win over the Predators, what will the Islanders have in store for Ovechkin and company?
It’s been quite the interesting week for the New York Islanders. First they felt heartbreak on Monday night as their cross town rivals overcame a two-goal deficit and put a six-spot up on their own
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home ice. Then, a sound victory over the
lead into their
Now the Isles will head to our Nation’s capital to take on the league leading goal score in Alexander Ovechkin and his Washington Capitals on Saturday afternoon.
First they welcomed in the NHL’s best team, and now they’ll travel to take on the league’s top goal scorer.
- Saturday, February, 21 @12:30 PM ET
- Verizon Center, Washington, DC
- TV: MSG+
Against Nashville the Islanders defensemen decided to get offensive. Nick Leddy, Johnny Boychuk and Mark Strait all scored goals on Pekka Rinne who’s still considered by many to be the front-runner for the Hart Trophy.
Feb 19, 2015; Uniondale, NY, USA; New York Islanders defenseman Johnny Boychuk (55) celebrates his goal with teammates during the first period against the Nashville Predators at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports
What the blueliners will have to do on Saturday is contain the guy who currently has 38 goals on the season. Only New York Rangers power-forward Rick Nash has remained in his class with 37 of his own. The third place man is Joe Pavelski of the San Jose Sharks with 31 back-netters.
And boy is the Russian superstar hot.
Ovechkin has five goals in his last four games, scoring in all four. In fact, in Washington’s last 16 games their captain has a ridiculous 16 goals.
With the Caps having the last line change at their disposal on home ice, all three defense pairing have got to be ready for the Ovechkin-Nicklas Backstrom combination.
What’s more important is how both teams shake out when you take a glance at the Metropolitan Division standings.
With the Rangers 3-1 victory over the terrible Buffalo Sabres Friday night, the Isles lead on the blueshirts is only three points and the Rangers still have two games in hand. The Caps only trail the Isles by five points as both have played 59 games. Meanwhile, the Pittsburgh Penguins are fourth down six points with a single game in hand.
- Islanders – 79 PTS, 59 GP, 39 W
- Rangers – 76 PTS, 57 GP, 35 W
- Capitals – 75 PTS, 59 GP, 32 W
- Penguins – 73 PTS, 58 GP, 32 W
Trying to stay atop this division is one of the toughest chores in sports. Right now the Penguins and Boston Bruins hold the two Eastern Conference Wild Card spots.
- Center Mikhail Grabovski was placed on Injured Reserve on Friday with a suspected concussion
- Recalled Kael Mouillierat from Bridgeport
- Michael Grabner and his wife, Heather, gave birth to their second child on Thursday night