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Islanders-Capitals Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: New York Islanders (27-28-4) at Washington Capitals (20-33-6).

TIME: Monday, 7 p.m. EST.

The New York Islanders look to match their season high with a third straight win and continue their recent success against the Washington Capitals when the teams meet at the Verizon Center.

The Islanders have beaten the Caps four straight times, including twice this season.

Rookie Chris Campoli scored the winning goal in the third period to give the Islanders a 4-2 victory over Philadelphia on Saturday.

"It feels great," Campoli said. "Finally, we have some things coming together, and this was certainly one of the most physical games we've played all year."

The Islanders have benefited from a balanced attack in the last two games, with five players accounting for their six goals. Four of the goals have come on the power play.

The Islanders will need consistent contributions from the entire team as they try to qualify for the playoffs for the fourth season in a row. Their three-year streak is the club's longest since making the playoffs for 14 consecutive seasons from 1975-88.

New York is in 12th place in the Eastern Conference, eight points behind Montreal for the eighth and final playoff spot.

The Islanders' four consecutive victories against the Capitals have followed a six-game losing streak in the series. New York hasn't lost to Washington since falling 4-1 on Dec. 2, 2003, outscoring the Caps 18-10 since then.

The Capitals have dropped six of their last seven overall and have little hope of making the playoffs. Washington suffered a 3-2 overtime defeat to Atlanta on Saturday to fall 20 points behind the Canadiens in the East.

"The effort was there," Capitals coach Glen Hanlon said. "It just gets hard at this stage of the season not to get a win out of it."

Washington is all but certain to miss the postseason for the second year in a row. The team has not had a two-year playoff drought since its first seven seasons in the NHL - 1975-82.

One of the few bright spots for the Caps this season has been rookie forward Alexander Ovechkin, who is making his case for the Calder Trophy, given to the league's top rookie.

The 20-year-old Ovechkin scored his 39th goal of the season Saturday, and will be looking to match his season high of six straight games with a goal, set from Dec. 22-Jan. 1.

Ovechkin's 39 goals put him in a three-way tie with the Thrashers' Ilya Kovalchuk and Carolina's Eric Staal for second in the league behind Jaromir Jagr, who has 42 for the New York Rangers.

STANDINGS: Islanders - 58 points, 4th place, 22 PB, Atlantic Division. Capitals - 46 points, 5th place, 42 PB, Southeast Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Islanders - Miroslav Satan, 26 goals; Alexei Yashin and Mike York, 32 assists; Yashin, 50 points; Arron Asham, 101 PIM. Capitals - Ovechkin, 39 goals, 34 assists and 73 points; Brendan Witt, 137 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through March 5): Islanders - Power play: 18.6 percent (63 for 338), 8th in NHL. Penalty killing: 78.4 percent (286 for 365), 27th (tied). Capitals - Power play: 14.3 percent (51 for 356), 29th. Penalty killing: 78.3 percent (321 for 410), 29th.

GOALTENDERS: Islanders - Rick DiPietro (21-17-4, 3.33 GAA); Garth Snow (4-8-0, 3.60). Capitals - Olaf Kolzig (15-23-6, 3.57); Brent Johnson (5-9-0, 4.02).

SEASON SERIES: Islanders, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 31; Islanders, 5-3. At Uniondale, N.Y., Jason Blake and Oleg Kvasha each scored two goals and DiPietro made 26 saves.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Islanders - 13-14-2 on the road; Capitals - 13-14-4 at home.

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