Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders Matchup Preview

Two teams facing each other for the third time this season, the Washington Capitals and the New York Islanders meet at the Barclays Center in a divisional matchup. The action will get going at 7 p.m. ET on Thursday, March 15, and fans at home will be able to watch it live on Sportsnet 360.

Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders Odds

Washington (-140) is currently favored over New York (+120), and the oddsmakers have put the Over/Under (O/U) at 6 goals (-120 for the over, +100 for the under).

Washington is 39-30 straight up (SU) and has earned moneyline bettors 4.4 units this season. Through 69 regular season outings, 38 of its games have gone over the total, while 30 have gone under and just one has pushed. The Caps are 15-19 SU as an away team in 2017-18.

Washington has converted on 21.9 percent of its power play chances this year, a mark that places them in the top-10 among NHL teams. Its penalty kill is ranked 16th out of 31 teams, and it’s successfully killed off 80.0 percent of its penalties.

For the team as a whole, Washington has been whistled for penalties 4.1 times per game overall this season, and 2.2 per game over its last five match ups. The team’s been forced to kill penalties just 4.4 minutes per game over their last five outings.

Boasting a .907 save percentage and 27.7 saves per game, Braden Holtby (29-19-4) has been the top option in goal for Washington this year. If Washington chooses to rest him, however, they could go with Philipp Grubauer (10-18-3 record, .926 save percentage, 2.23 goals against average).

The visiting Capitals have relied heavily on Alex Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov this season. Ovechkin has 74 points via 42 goals and 32 assists, and has recorded two or more points in 19 different games. Kuznetsov has 21 goals and 45 assists to his name (and has notched a point in 40 games).

New York is 30-39 straight up (SU) and has lost 9.2 units for moneyline bettors this year. Through 69 regular season matches, 41 of its games have gone over the total, while 25 have gone under and just three have pushed. This year, the team is 16-16 SU as the home team.

New York has converted on 20.6 percent of its power play chances this season, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill is ranked 30th overall, and it’s successfully killed off 75.4 percent of all opponent power plays.

New York players have been whistled for penalties only 3.3 times per game in total this season, and 2.4 per game over their last ten outings. The team has been forced to defend opponent power plays just 5.4 minutes per game over their last 10 outings.

Jaroslav Halak has stopped 30.1 shots per game as the top netminder in goal for New York. Halak has 18 wins, 29 losses, and six overtime losses and has recorded a pedestrian 3.23 goals against average and a poor .908 save percentage this season.

John Tavares (31 goals, 38 assists) and Mathew Barzal (18 goals, 51 assists) will lead the attack for the Islanders.

Washington Capitals at New York Islanders Betting Predictions

Pick: SU Winner – Islanders, O/U – Under

Betting Notes

  • The total has gone over in three of New York’s last five games.
  • Power plays and penalty kills could prove to be even more critical than usual tonight. The Capitals are 13-8 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than their opponent and 22-15 in games where they serve fewer than 10 penalty minutes, in total. The Islanders are 11-21 when they serve fewer penalty minutes than the opposition and 19-30 in games where their penalty minutes are in the single digits.
  • Two of New York’s last ten games have ended in a shootout. The team is 0-2 in those games and 3-3 overall in shootouts this year.
  • New York is ranked 23rd in the NHL with 6.4 takeaways per game. That figure’s trended higher lately, as it has created 8.2 takeaways over its last 10 games and 7.0 takeaways over its last five.
  • Washington is ranked 16th in the NHL with 7.1 takeaways per game. That figure has trended down recently, however, as it’s created 6.3 takeaways over its last 10 games and 5.8 takeaways over its last five.
  • Washington may have an advantage if it’s a tight one late. The team’s 17-12 in games decided by one goal, while New York is 12-17 in such games.