The Metropolitan Division is a tight race right now. Only 5 points separates the top 6 teams in the Division. Right now, the Capitals are in that 6-team race. The Capitals currently sit at 37 points, and 2 points behind division leader Columbus. The Capitals have a busy week ahead with 4 games on their slate. First up, the Capitals will visit Brooklyn to take on the New York Islanders. Puck drop is at 7 PM ET on NBC Sports Washington.
NEW YORK ISLANDERS
The Islanders are a strong team that always seem to give the Capitals fits. Like the Capitals, they are stuck right in the middle of the Metropolitan Division race. The Islanders have 35 points, but have one game in hand on the Capitals.
The Islanders just finished up a 4-game Eastern Conference road swing. They went 1-2-1, and their most recent loss came against Boston on Saturday night. Even with their recent loss, the Islanders are in good shape as they have plenty of home cooking on their slate over the next couple of weeks. The Islanders have 7 out of 8 at home in front of their home fans, beginning with their matchup versus Washington. The Islanders are a tough team to face when they are at home, as their record currently sits at 8-1-2.
The Islanders have a well balanced offensive attack. Captain John Tavares, Anders Lee, and Josh Bailey are all point per game players this season. Forward Matthew Barzal is an exciting rookie, and is near the point-per-game mark.
It has been a coin flip in goal for the Islanders this year. Jaroslav Halak as started 15 games in goal, and Thomas Greiss has started 14 games. Both goaltenders are having average seasons, and will need to improve their goals against and save percentages if the Islanders plan to contend for the Metropolitan Division lead.
The Capitals are starting to find their groove in a time where getting 2-points is necessary. The Capitals have won 4 in a row, and have won 8 out of their last 10 games.
Capitals fans are beginning to see the emergence of Tom Wilson as an offensive threat. Wilson has 3 goals and 7 points in his last 3 games. He is showing great chemistry with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom, and is still maintaining his chippy physical play. Wilson is just 4 points shy of his point total from last year, and 8 points shy of his career high 23 points from 2 years ago. It appears that Wilson is on his way to set career highs in goals and points this season.
T.J. Oshie has missed the last 2 games, but he skated before practice on Sunday. He will not play against the New York Islanders, and he is still considered day-to-day. But it is a good sign to see him skating.
The Capitals are expected to go with the same lines against the Islanders on Monday night.
No changes in lines. Still:
— Isabelle Khurshudyan (@ikhurshudyan) December 10, 2017
-Alex Ovechkin leads all Capitals skaters with 21 goals and 33 points.
-The Capitals have a 6-6-1 road record in 2017-18.
-Islanders forward Josh Bailey has 5 goals, but leads the Islanders with 32 points.
-Islanders defenseman Nick Leddy has 6 goals and 24 points, which is 5th among Islanders skaters in points.
A LOOK BACK IN TIME
Lars Eller had 2 goals and 3 points in the matchup versus the Islanders on November 2. The Capitals defeated the Islanders 4-3 at Capital One Arena.
By: George Foussekis