NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, March 13th
(All times Eastern)
Washington Capitals (35-28-6) at New York Islanders (28-31-10), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Washington Capitals will try to stay hot tonight, as
they begin a five-game road trip by taking on the New York Islanders at Nassau
The eighth-seeded Capitals, who are battling for a spot in the playoffs and
possibly a fifth straight Southeast Division title, have won three in a row
and have also recorded a point in seven of their last nine outings (6-2-1).
With 76 points, Washington is two points ahead of Buffalo for the eighth seed
in the East and the Caps are also just one point behind Florida for first
place in the Southeast. The Panthers will also be in action tonight against
the visiting Toronto Maple Leafs.
Washington is coming off Sunday's 2-0 home win over the Maple Leafs, but the
Caps will play five straight on the road before hosting their next contest on
March 23 against Winnipeg. The Capitals are 23-10-3 in D.C. this season
compared to a poor 12-18-3 road mark. After tonight's test on Long Island,
Washington will visit Winnipeg, Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia.
Michal Neuvirth made 23 saves to earn his third shutout of the season in
Washington's win over a slumping Toronto club on Sunday. The 2-0 victory came
a day after Tomas Vokoun made 30 saves in the Caps' 4-3 win in Boston.
Brooks Laich and Mathieu Perreault provided the goals for the Capitals on
"Really big 48 hours," Laich said of his team's weekend victories. "Good win
[in Boston Saturday] and we carried it right over into today. Maybe we got
lucky with the schedule and [the Maple Leafs] are tired and have to travel,
but really, really big 48 hours for us."
Washington defenseman Mike Green will serve the final part of a three-game
suspension tonight. Green was sanctioned by the league last week for
delivering an illegal hit on Tampa Bay's Brett Connolly.
The Islanders, who are 10 points behind Washington in the East standings, have
lost three straight games and are coming off Sunday's 4-3 overtime setback
against the rival Rangers. Marian Gaborik scored the game-winner with just six
seconds left to lift the Eastern Conference-leading Rangers to the home win at
Madison Square Garden.
John Tavares had a goal and an assist in the loss, while Matt Moulson and
Andrew MacDonald also scored for the Islanders. Travis Hamonic added a pair of
helpers and Evgeni Nabokov made 32 saves in defeat.
The Islanders allowed the Rangers to score three times on six opportunities
with the man advantage. Gaborik's decisive goal came on the power play.
"We gave them three out of their four goals," Islanders head coach Jack
Capuano said. "Our special teams haven't been good and we have to get back to
doing the basics of what it takes to win."
The Isles are 15-15-5 at home this year and will welcome the Caps and
Philadelphia during a brief two-game residency.
New York beat the Capitals in the first two meetings of the 2011-12 campaign,
but Washington rebounded with a 3-2 overtime victory at the Verizon Center on
Feb. 28. The Caps have taken seven of nine in this series overall and
Washington had won six straight on Long Island before the Isles earned a 5-3
win back on Nov. 5.
03/13 10:34:24 ET