The New York Islanders open up their seven-game series against the Washington Capitals today at 3 PM. Here’s everything to know about the matchup.
There is nothing better to watch in sports than the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Today, the New York Islanders will face off against the Washington Capitals in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
The Islanders are coming off their best performance of the postseason when they beat the Panthers 5-1 in Game 4. The Islanders played a great all-around game. Anthony Beauvillier had two goals and Semyon Varlamov stopped 24 of 25 shots faced.
On Sunday, the Capitals won their first game of the postseason, defeating the Bruins 2-1. The Caps played great defense late in the third to stifle the Bruins offense and hold on to the lead. Braden Holtby got the win in net.
One interesting note about the Isles/Caps season series is the away team always wins. As a matter of fact, over the past two seasons, the away team is 8-0-0 in this matchup.
Tale of the Tape
As shown above, Washington struggled during their round-robin play. The best part of the Capitals game during the postseason was their penalty kill. Most expect Washington to have a big pick up in their game for this first-round series.
The Islanders come into today as the underdogs, courtesy of the Action network.
In most cases, for the first game of a series the higher seed is always the favorites in game one and today is no different. The Islanders are the underdogs and it can be a rewarding matchup for anyone that plays them.
The Islanders played great on Friday, while the Capitals struggled during their three games. I expect the Islanders to jump on the Capitals early and set the tempo for the game.
I would play the underdogs in this one!
The Islanders are only expected to make one change from Friday’s lineup. A healthy, Johnny Boychuk will be back in the lineup. He is expected to come back in for Andy Greene, who did a great job in relief for Boychuk.
The Islanders will lineup the same on offense. Leo Komarov returned to the lineup on Friday and is projected to stay on the third line for today’s matchup. He was a great addition to the Islanders’ penalty kill, who struggled during the qualifier series.
Semyon Varlamov will be in the net for game one. He cemented his spot as the Islanders number one during their qualifier series and will be looking to get the victory in game one.
The Islanders are projected to lineup like this:
The Capitals are expected to get a huge boost to their lineup today. Defenseman John Carlson is expected to be back in the lineup, after missing all of their round-robin games with an injury.
One player that is not expected to dress today for the Caps is forward, Lars Eller. Eller is healthy and has no injuries, but he may miss game one. Eller left Toronto because he and his wife had a baby on Saturday. Due to leaving the bubble and returning, Eller has to quarantine in his Toronto hotel room for four days and have four negative tests to be allowed to play.
Eller has to be cleared by the NHL to play in today’s game. Even if he is cleared, Washington’s coaching staff has concerns since he has not been on the ice in the past couple of days.
"“So I think it’s important that we handle this situation and make the proper the decision to give this player the best chance to be able to, if it’s not Game 1, then he’s ready to go for Game 2 and he’s as close to healthy in terms of conditioning-wise, he’s ready to go on the ice and be able to add the things he can add and do it safely so that we can have him for an extended time here in this playoffs because he is definitely a big factor in our team success.” – Todd Reirden"
With this being said, by head coach Todd Reirden, Eller is not projected to be in today’s lineup.
Washington will also be without goalie, Ilya Samsonov, for the whole series. Samsonov did not make the Capitals’ playoff roster or travel with the team to Toronto, due to an injury.
Braden Holtby has been the Caps number one goalie all season and will be in the net for today’s game.
The Capitals are projected to lineup like this:
Where to Catch the Game
TV: NBCSN, SN, TVAS, MSG, MSG+
Radio: 88.7FM 103.9FM 98.7FM