New York Islanders: Potential Playoff Matchups
Feb 21, 2015; Washington, DC, USA; New York Islanders center Ryan Strome (18) celebrates with teammates after scoring the game-tying goal in the final minute of the third period against the Washington Capitals at Verizon Center. The Capitals won 3-2 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
As things stand the Islanders would play the Washington Capitals, the only Metropolitan team that the Islanders failed to beat in regulation this season with two overtime wins in a 2-1-1 record. It is no secret that one of Washington’s strengths is their impressive power play that is spearheaded by Alex Ovechkin who has 4 goals against the Islanders this season. Like the Islanders the Capitals missed the play offs last season but thanks to new coach Barry Trotz and a very impressive season from goaltender Braden Holtby they are fighting for home ice as well but a tough final three games against Detroit, Boston and the New York Rangers will make that a tough challenge.
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Likelihood of a first round match up: Right now the most likely team the Islanders would face, Washington are in good form lately and barring a turnaround in Pittsburgh should finish in either 2nd or 3rd in the division and if the Islanders finish above Pittsburgh then it will be Isles-Caps in round one
Prediction: This is one that very well could go 7 games, especially if it’s similar to how the regular season games have gone with three of the four going past regulation. The 5-2 loss in Washington in November perhaps can be attributed to the sloppy play of the now departed goaltender Chad Johnson but it was a sloppy game all round. The Capitals have generally been able to stifle the Isles in the neutral zone and special teams may well be a mismatch although the Islanders penalty kill has been much improved in the last month.
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