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Game Preview: New York Islanders at Washington Capitals

by Travis Betts / New York Islanders
New York Islanders

18-16-3 (39 points – 4th in Atlantic Division, 9th in Eastern Conference)
11-5-1 road
Washington Capitals
17-17-2 (36 points - 2nd in Southeast Division, 10th in Eastern Conference)
8-8-0 home
7:00 p.m.
Verizon Center
Washington, DC
Television: MSG+
Play-by-play: Howie Rose; Color: Butch Goring

Radio: WHRU 88.7 FM
Chris King: Play-by-play
Season series (2-0-0)
The Islanders have won both matchups with the Capitals this season; one at home and one away. In their most recent matchup, the Islanders led 2-0 after 20 minutes but lost the lead in the second period. John Tavares' goal late in the third proved to be the game-winner, as the Islanders held off an attack late in regulation. New York outshot Washington 31-22, and Evgeni Nabokov made 20 saves between the pipes for the Islanders.

Capitals player to watch
Nicklas Backstrom - Center

Nicklas Backstrom enters Thursday's contest with points in six of his last seven games, including four helpers and First Star honors in the Capitals' 5-3 win over Carolina Tuesday. The fourth overall pick in 2006 ranks third in the league with 29 assists, while adding six goals for 35 points. Backstrom has 402 points (107 goals, 295 assists) in 401 career games, all with Washington.

Islanders Storylines
•The Isles head to the road with wins in five of their last six games overall, including a 5-2 win over Winnipeg Tuesday. The Islanders have also won five of their last six and seven of their last nine on the road.
•The Islanders are 2-for-3 on the power play over their last two games, while killing off both opponents man advantages (0 shots) in the same time.
•With the victory vs. Winnipeg Tuesday, Jack Capuano ranks third in Islanders head coaching history with 78 wins, three behind Terry Simpson for second place.
•Anders Lee scored his first NHL goal on his first shot in his first NHL game Tuesday vs. Winnipeg.

The Matchup
21.7% (28/129)
80.4% (90/112)

Power play
Penalty kill
Goals for
Goals against
Last 10 games

24.6% (31/126)
76.2% (99/130)
New York Islanders previous game lines
26 Matt Moulson - 91 John Tavares - 24 Brad Boyes
12 Josh Bailey - 51 Frans Nielsen - 21 Kyle Okposo
40 Michael Grabner - 10 Keith Aucoin - 13 Colin McDonald
27 Anders Lee - 53 Casey Cizikas - 17 Matt Martin

47 Andrew MacDonald – 3 Travis Hamonic
14 Thomas Hickey - 11 Lubomir Visnovsky
2 Mark Streit - 7 Matt Carkner

60 Kevin Poulin
20 Evgeni Nabokov

Washington Capitals previous game lines
8 Alex Ovechkin - 19 Nicklas Backstrom - 90 Marcus Johansson
20 Troy Brouwer - 9 Mike Ribeiro - 21 Brooks Laich
25 Jason Chimera - 85 Mathieu Perreault - 42 Joel Ward
24 Aaron Volpatti - 26 Matt Hendricks - 83 Jay Beagle

38 Jack Hillen - 74 John Carlson
27 Karl Alzner - 52 Mike Green
4 John Erskine - 61 Steve Oleksy

70 Braden Holtby
30 Michal Neuvirth

Quote of the Day

“There’s a long way to go. There are still a lot of points up for grabs. You have to play for it. It’s fun where we are in the standings right now, but there’s still a lot of work to do.”

Islanders center Frans Nielsen,
following Tuesday's win against Winnipeg

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