Islanders vs. Caps: Odds, Players to Watch, Lineups, TV and more

The New York Islanders conclude their season series with the first placed Washington Capitals in D.C. Here's everything to know about the matchup.

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UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - JANUARY 18: Tom Wilson #43 and Radko Gudas #33 of the Washington Capitals combine to hold off Matt Martin #17 of the New York Islanders during the second period at NYCB Live's Nassau Coliseum on January 18, 2020 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The New York Islanders are trying to split their season series with the Capitals tonight in the capital city. The Islanders are coming off a tough 3-1 loss to the Lightning on Saturday night. Meanwhile, on Saturday the Caps got thrashed by Philly 7-2.

This game is the start of a back-to-back for the blue and orange against divisional opponents. They are hoping to take 2 points from the Caps before taking on Philly at home tomorrow.

The Season Series

This series has been dominated by the road teams. The road team has one each game the past two seasons.

In the Islanders regular-season opener the Capitals silenced the blue and orange faithful by winning 2-1. As you would expect in an opening game, it was a tight-checking affair.

The next time these teams met was on New Year's Eve where the Islanders won 4-3. Casey Cizikas led the Islanders with two goals and Semyon Varlamov stood on his head in the third period stopping all 18 shots faced.

Most recently, the Isles blew a 4-1 third period lead at home to lose to the Capitals 6-4. Ovechkin led the comeback charge, scoring a hat-trick for the Caps. This game was extremely heartbreaking for both Islanders fans and players, alike.

Tale of the Tape

IslandersCapitals
31-16-6Record36-14-5
2.89Goals-For/GP3.56
2.70Goals-Against/GP3.00
19.7PP%20.1
79.7PK%84.0
29.5Shot-for/GP32.0
31.4Shots-Against/GP29.7

 

As we can see by the Tale of the Tape, the Capitals dominate this matchup, but as we all know these stats are thrown-out when the teams take the ice.

Betting Odds

The Islanders are the underdogs in this matchup. They come in at a +155 money line, courtesy of the Action network.

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The Capitals have been playing great hockey as of late and are on top dog in the Metro division, but the road team has had the advantage in this matchup. This game is a complete toss-up.

Players to Watch

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UNIONDALE, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 16: Nick Leddy #2 of the New York Islanders skates against the Philadelphia Flyers during a preseason game at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum on September 16, 2018 in Uniondale, New York. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Nick Leddy

One of the Islanders most consistent players over the past two seasons is Nick Leddy. His great skating and vision, with the puck, makes him one of the best defenseman on the Islanders.

So far this season, Leddy has had three goals, 16 assists for 19 points and has had a +9 plus/minus. He has also averaged 21:00 of Ice time per game. (NHL)

With Ryan Pulock, potentially not being 100%, Leddy is the Islanders player to watch. His skating, vision and increased role may make the difference in tonight's game.

Related Story:Islanders: Pulock Suffers injury late in Saturday night's game

Alex Ovechkin

When you think about the Capitals, the first name that comes to mind is their captain and MVP, Alex Ovechkin.

Ovechkin has 40 goals, 17 assists for 57 points. He also has a whopping 12 power-play goals.

Tonight is all about 700! Ovechkin is two goals shy of reaching 700 for his career. When "The Great 8" has a goal in mind, he usually cannot be stopped.

Let's see if the Isles can stop Ovechkin from reaching 700 career goals!

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Potential Lineups

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BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - DECEMBER 19: Johnny Boychuk #55 of the New York Islanders celebrates with Jordan Eberle #7 after scoring a goal against the Boston Bruins during the second period at TD Garden on December 19, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

New York Islanders

We may see the Islanders make some changes with the lack of offensive power in Tampa on Saturday. This matchup is a must-win game for the Isles if they want to win the Metropolitan division.

It looks like Ross Johnston will be back in the lineup, to add a physical presence, in place of rookie sensation Kieffer Bellows. It also looks like Pulock is good to go tonight!

We also expect the Islanders to keep their goalie rotation tonight, with Thomas Greiss in the net.

The Islanders should keep that same lineup tonight:

Lee-Barzal-Eberle
Beauvillier-Nelson-Bailey
Johnston-Brassard-Dal Colle
Martin-Cizikas-Komarov

Leddy-Boychuck
Toews-Pulock
Dobson-Mayfield

Greiss (Varlamov)

Washington Capitals

The Washington Capitals will make some changes after losing big on Saturday. One change that is expected tonight is in between the pipes.

We expect Ilya Samsonov to mind the crease tonight after Braden Holtby let up seven goals on 25 shots against Philly.

We expect the Caps will keep the same lineup from their morning skate:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Oshie
Vrana-Kuznetsov-Wilson
Hagelin-Eller-Panik
Leipsic-Dowd-Hathaway

Kempny-Carlson
Orlov-Fehervary
Siegenthaler-Jensen

Samsonov (Holtby)

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Where to Catch the Game:

TV: NBCSN, MSG+, MSG Go

Radio: 88.7FM, 103.9FM, 1050AM