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Islanders seek another first goal, 3-1 lead on Capitals

by David Satriano /

UNIONDALE, N.Y. -- The New York Islanders hope to take a 3-1 lead in their best-of-7 Eastern Conference First Round series against the Washington Capitals in Game 4 at Nassau Coliseum on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; USA, SN360, TVA Sports 2, CSN-DC, MSG+), and hope to start out the same way they have in each of the past three games: scoring the first goal.

"The first goal is always great to get the lead," Islanders captain John Tavares said. "It gives you a lot of energy early on and we just want to build on that. We would love to keep building on some leads we are able to grab early."

The Islanders have put a 2-1 win in Game 3 on Sunday behind them, and know there is a big difference between being up 3-1 in the series as opposed to tied 2-2.

"We came out and took care of business Sunday, but it won't mean a whole lot if we don't do the same thing and try and get a win here tonight," forward Matt Martin said.

The Islanders hope to avoid a letdown like they had in Game 2. New York had two two-goal leads before losing 4-3, making it a 1-1 series instead of a road sweep.

"I think we can learn from our mistakes in Game 2," Martin said. "We took Game 1, played a very strong game and came out in Game 2 flat and really didn't play well enough to win that game."

The Islanders hope to replicate the pressure they applied Sunday when they had the first 11 shots of the game and outshot Washington 42-25.

"We [have to] play a full 60 minutes," forward Casey Cizikas said. "We keep it simple and we don't sit back on our heels. That's when [the Capitals] are getting their opportunities."

Islanders coach Jack Capuano hopes his players can use the Nassau Coliseum crowd to their advantage.

"It's an exciting time," Capuano said. "It's a great opportunity in front of our fan base. We have to feed off the energy. That's why our home record was what it was [during the regular season]."

Here are the projected lineups:


Alex OvechkinNicklas BackstromJoel Ward

Marcus JohanssonEvgeny KuznetsovTroy Brouwer

Jason ChimeraAndre BurakovskyJay Beagle

Curtis GlencrossBrooks LaichTom Wilson

Brooks OrpikJohn Carlson

Karl AlznerMatt Niskanen

Tim GleasonMike Green

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Michael Latta, Justin Peters

Injured: Eric Fehr (upper body), John Erskine (neck), Dmitry Orlov (wrist)


Nikolay KuleminJohn TavaresRyan Strome

Josh BaileyFrans NielsenKyle Okposo

Anders LeeBrock NelsonTyler Kennedy

Matt MartinCasey CizikasCal Clutterbuck

Nick Leddy - Johnny Boychuk

Calvin de Haan - Brian Strait

Thomas Hickey - Lubomir Visnovsky

Jaroslav Halak

Michal Neuvirth

Scratched: Griffin Reinhart, Colin McDonald, Eric Boulton, Michael Grabner, Matt Donovan

Injured: Mikhail Grabovski (upper body), Travis Hamonic (undisclosed)

Status report: Capuano said Halak would be in net, but didn't say if there would be any other changes.

Who's hot: Bailey leads the Islanders with four points in the series.

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