John Tavares and the New York Islanders look to take two points in DC against Alex Ovechkin and the NHL leading Washington Capitals.
The Isles have a chance to prove that they’re ready to hang with the big boys tonight. The Islanders (26-16-6) travel to DC to face off against the Capitals (35-9-4). The Caps are the class of the NHL right now there is no denying it. The Capitals have a healthy lead in the Metropolitan Division and are currently in the midst of a bid for the Presidents’ Trophy while the Islanders are still in danger of missing the playoffs.
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The Isles are coming off a nice 5 goal showing against All-Star goalie, Devan Dubnyk. They will get another All-Star in Braden Holtby who is an early favorite for the Vezina Trophy. If the Islanders offense can continue to click it could go a long way towards building some confidence and momentum for a very busy February.
They say sports are won with Jimmies and Joes not X’s and O’s. If that is the case the Islanders are going to have their handful with the top-tier talent Washington will be putting on the ice. The Capitals have seven players with at least 27 points compared to the Islanders three.
Alexander Ovechkin will be chomping at the bit to up his tally of 28 goals after sitting out the All-Star game and serving a subsequent one game suspension. Halak will have his handful in net with the likes of Kuznetsov, Backstrom, Oshie, and Johansson.
It would be nice for Isles fans to see a big game from Anders Lee who is vital to the teams success. He was nonexistent playoff series against Washington last year and has suffered from a sophomore slump after being the Isles second leading goal scorer in his rookie year.
The wound from that game 7 loss in the first round of last years playoffs is still fresh but the bottom line is that this is just another regular season game with two points at stake. It would be great to take two points outright here but if that doesn’t happen I can guarantee that the sky will not be falling. Conversely, Tavares will not be raising a Stanley Cup tomorrow.
I’m looking forward to an entertaining game and maybe a preview of a Stanley Cup Playoffs matchup.
What: Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders
When: February 4th, 2016 // 7:30 pm EST
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, DC
TV Info: NBCSN
Live Stream: NHL Gamecenter