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Caps shoot for seventh straight on Long Island

by Brian Compton
CAPITALS (33-12-6) at ISLANDERS (23-21-8)

Last 10: Washington 9-1-0; New York 7-3-0.

Season Series: This is the last of four meetings between the teams. Washington is 2-0-1 against the Isles this season and earned a 5-4 victory in the most recent meeting on Nov. 11 at the Verizon Center.

Big Story: Another huge test for the Islanders, who have defeated some formidable opponents this month, including Colorado, Phoenix, Detroit and New Jersey. The Islanders had won six in a row at home until suffering a 4-2 loss to the Devils on Saturday night.

Team Scope:

Capitals: Washington is one of the hottest teams in the League as Bruce Boudreau's club has won six in a row and nine of 10. The Caps extended their streak with Saturday's 4-2 win on home ice against the Coyotes. Washington has won six straight on three different occasions this season.

"I was really worried about this game because Phoenix is a good team but also because of an emotional letdown after playing Detroit, Philadelphia and Pittsburgh," Boudreau said. "I thought our guys answered the bell pretty well emotionally in this kind of game. We kept saying, 'Stay the course.'"

Islanders: A bad third period cost New York dearly on Saturday night, as it was outshot 14-3 by the Devils in a 4-2 loss at the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. Bryce Salvador broke a 2-2 tie with 6:49 remaining.

"Any loss is tough," Islanders goaltender Rick DiPietro said. "You hope that we don't look back at the end of the season and realize that these were two points that we should've had. We'll learn from our mistakes."

Who's Hot: Alex Ovechkin has three goals and five points in his last two games, giving him 33 tallies for the season. He also has 37 assists. … Kyle Okposo had a goal and an assist for the Islanders on Saturday and leads the team with 35 points.

Injury Report: Caps goalie Semyon Varlamov is out with a groin injury, while defenseman Brian Pother (unspecified) is day-to-day. … Isles forward Tim Jackman is still recovering from a broken orbital bone, but hopes to return shortly. Radek Martinek (torn ACL) and Brendan Witt (calf) are out.

Stat Pack: Not only have the Capitals won nine of their last 10 games, but they've also scored at least four times in all of those victories.

Puck Drop: "It's not a process, it's here. We're good enough. We're good enough to beat a team in a seven-game series and we're good enough to be in the playoffs." -- Islanders captain Doug Weight in an interview with Newsday on Saturday

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