New York Islanders (7-5 SU, 9-3 PL, 7-5-0 O/U) vs Washington Capitals (5-7 SU, 5-7 PL, 8-4-0 O/U)
When: 7:05 PM EDT, Thursday, November 2, 2017
Where: Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
Lines: Washington -147/ New York +133
Thursday evening NHL action and a pair of Metro Division foes will square off as the New York Islanders will grapple with the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. The Islanders are off a 6-3 home win over the Golden Knights, while the Capitals are off a 2-1 road loss to Calgary. Goalie Probables: The Islanders will send out Jaroslav Halak in this one and he will be opposed by Braden Holtby.
Islanders Cool Off Golden Knights
The Las Vegas Golden Knights have been impressive in their first year in the league so far and they came into the Barclays Center on Monday night riding a five-game win streak, but the Islanders were able to cool them off with a solid 6-3. The Game was tied at 2-2 when the Knights lost goalie Oscar Dansk and the Islanders took advantage the rest of the way. The Islanders started the season slowly, but they have now won five of their last six games and their offense has been very good over that stretch as they have averaged 4.83 gpg in the six games. It may be hard to keep that offense going against Braden Holtby, who has been very good at home in his career. John Tavares led the attack in the win over the Knights as he scored twice and now has 11 goals on the year, which is 2nd in the league. Also scoring in the win was Andrew Ladd (3rd), Mathew Barzal (3rd), Cal Clutterbuck (2nd) and Nikolay Kulemin (1st). Grabbing the win against the Golden Knights was Jaroslav Halak, who stopped 31 of the 34 shots that he faced in the game. He has gone 5-2 with a 2.66 GAA and a .916 save percentage on the year overall, including 2-2 with a 2.44 GAA and a .921 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 90-96 with a 2.59 GAA on the road and 27-29 with a 2.29 GAA during the month of November, plus he is 43-23 with a 2.30 GAA against the Metro Division, while against the Capitals in his career he has gone 8-7 with a 2.66 GAA.
The Islanders enter this contest ranked 5th in the league in scoring at 3.67 gpg, while also ranking 21st in shots taken (30.4 spg) and 19th in power play conversions, converting on 16.3% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have been rather average as they come in ranked 17th in goals allowed, giving up 3.08 gpg, while also ranking 24th in shots allowed (33.6 spg) and 25th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 22.5% of their chances.
The Offense Just Isn’t Producing For The Caps
The Washington Capitals have plenty of firepower on their team, but lately, that offense has been stuck in the mud as they have averaged just 2.14 gpg over their last seven games after taking a 2-1 loss to Calgary on the road on Sunday night. Alex Ovechkin started out the year hot with seven goals in his first two games and nine goals in his first five, but he has really been held in check as he has scored just one goal over his last seven games and none in his last four. They really need him to get going as he is the key to their offense. Scoring their lone goal in the loss to the Flames was Jakub Vrana, which was his 4th of the year. Taking the loss against the Flames was Philipp Grubauer, who didn’t have a bad game as he stopped 36 of the 38 shots that he faced in the game, but his offense let him down, he is now 0-4 with a 4.08 GAA on the year. Braden Holtby will be in the crease for this one and he has gone 5-3 with a 2.75 GAA and a .919 save percentage on the year, including 1-2 with a 1.70 GAA and a .952 save percentage here at home. In his career, he has gone 103-50 with a 2.14 GAA in his home games and 31-18 with a 2.37 GAA during the month of November, while against the Metro Division he has gone 59-38 with a 2.28 GAA and he is 12-6 with a 2.28 GAA in his career against the Islanders.
The Capitals come into this game ranked 19th in the league in scoring at 2.92 gpg, while also ranking 28th in shots taken (29.3 spg) and 9th in power play conversions, converting on 21.6% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they have not been great in the early going as they rank 24th in goals allowed, giving up 3.42 gpg, while also ranking 26th in shots allowed (33.8 spg) and 27th in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 23.5% of their chances.
New York is:
- The Under is 7-3-1 in the last 11 games in this series
- The Under is 4-1 in their last five home games
- The Under is 12-5-3 in their last 20 vs. the Metropolitan
The Islanders are playing very well at the moment, especially their offense, while the Capitals have not been great out the gate, especially their offense. Braden Holtby has a 1-2 record at home this year, but he also has a 1.70 GAA in those games. Washington home games have averaged just 4.75 gpg this year, including just 4.67 gpg with Holtby in the crease. He should be able to slow down the Islander attack in this one. The Caps have averaged just 2.14 gpg in their last seven games and just 2.25 gpg at home and Halak has a decent 2.44 GAA on the road so far. I look for this one to be a low-scoring game, especially since the Under is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings here in Washington.