Game 5 Preview: Washington Capitals Look to Keep Momentum in Critical Game Against New York Islanders

Photo: Elsa/Getty Images

After notching their first win after three gloomy games, the Washington Capitals are back in action on Thursday for Game 5 in their first-round series against the New York Islanders. Puck drop from Scotiabank Arena in Toronto is set for 8 PM ET and can be seen on NBC Sports Washington and NBCSN.

First Round Standings: 1-3 | 2-4-1 overall

Goal Leader: Captain Alex Ovechkin (4)

Assist Leader: Defenseman John Carlson (6)

Point Leader: Carlson (6)

Starting Goaltender: Braden Holtby is likely to start. He has gone 2-4-1, has 2.55 goals-against average, and has a .909 save percentage.

Power-Play: 19.2% (7th in the postseason) | Forward T.J. Oshie and center Evgeny Kuznetsov tie with two power-play goals each.

Penalty Kill: 96.3% (3rd in the postseason) | Forward Tom Wilson leads with 23 penalty minutes.

Essential Notes: According to head coach Todd Reirden, center Nicklas Backstrom (concussion protocol) will be a game-time decision on Thursday. He did skate with the extras during Wednesday’s practice. “It’s a positive sign that he’s on the ice again today and we’ll go from there,” Reirden said. The Capitals are hoping to match their Game 4 work ethic and physicality for Game 5 if they want stay in the playoffs.


First Round Standings: 3-1 | 6-2-0 overall

Goal Leader: Forward Anthony Beauvillier (4)

Assist Leader: Forward Josh Bailey (6)

Point Leader: Beauvillier (7), Bailey (7), and center Mathew Barzal (7)

Starting Goaltender: Semyon Varlamov is likely to start. He has gone 6-2-0, has 1.87 goals-against average, and has a .927 save percentage.

Power-Play: 14.3% (15th overall)

Penalty Kill: 73.3% (23nd overall) | Captain Anders Lee leads with 11 penalty minutes.

Essential Notes: Head coach Barry Trotz said the coaching staff is “contemplating a few” changes for Game 5. The Capitals rallied with three unanswered goals to win 3-2 on Tuesday. “It came too easy for us in the first,” Trotz said after the game. “We didn’t have enough skin in the game…We need to respond better next game.”

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is an aspiring novelist and screenwriter who earned a BFA in Creative Writing from Full Sail University in 2021. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Screenwriting from Regent University. Della comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for hockey in 2019. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, cooking, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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