Islanders vs. Capitals - game preview
Islanders looking for two big points against conference opponent
Monday, 03.12.2012 / 5:57 PM ET / News
By Jesse D. Eisenberg
|Team Record: 28-31-10
Last Game: 4-3 OTL @ NYR
Season Series: 2-0-1
|Team Record: 35-28-6
Last Game: 2-0 W vs TOR
Season Series: 1-2-0 of 6
Comprising one half of the Islanders top shut-down defensive pairing, Travis Hamonic has averaged over 22 minutes a game across from his partner, Andrew MacDonald. The 21-year old leads all Islanders with a plus-6 rating this season and leads all Isles defensemen with 2:18 of shorthanded time on ice per game.
Hamonic has also chipped in offensively this season, notching his second career two-point night Sunday against the Rangers with a pair of assists. The smooth skater has taken more liberties in the offensive zone of late, often chasing his own dump-ins below the enemy goal line and plowing through opposing defensemen.
A seven-year NHL veteran in his second season with the Capitals, defenseman Dennis Wideman leads Washington with 33 assists and ranks second on the club with 43 points this season. He is three goals and four assists shy of equaling his career highs in each category, both set during his 2008-09 50-point season with the Boston Bruins.
Wideman enters action tonight on a four-game assist streak, which has helped the Capitals to a 3-0-1 record. Only two NHL defensemen have more points this season (Erik Karlsson – 69, Brian Campbell – 44) than the Capitals leader in time on ice per game.
Points Leader: John Tavares is one point shy of his career high of 67, set last season. He is four points shy of becoming the first Islander to record at least 70 points in a season since Alexei Yashin had 75 in 2001-02. Tavares is on pace for 78 points this season, which would be the highest Islanders total since Zigmund Palffy had 87 in 1997-98.
Goals Leader: Islanders leading goal scorer Matt Moulson is one goal shy of his third-consecutive 30-goal season. Zigmund Palffy was the last Islander to accomplish that feat (1995-96 to 1997-98). Moulson has already posted career highs in assists (29) and points (58). He is two goals shy of tying his career high in goals (31).
Assists Leader: PA Parenteau has 46 assists this season – the most by any Islander since Pierre Turgeon had 56 in 1993-94. Only four players in the NHL (Henrik Sedin, Claude Giroux, Erik Karlsson and Joe Thornton) have more assists this season.
Alex Ovechkin completed a late Washington comeback as the Capitals beat the Islanders 3-2 in overtime. Josh Bailey and Matt Moulson put the Islanders up 2-0, until 16:31 of the third period, when Troy Brouwer scored the first of two goals in 3:03 to send the game to overtime.
Click the photo for gallery from the last time the Islanders played the Capitals.
IslandersPower play: 18.0%
Penalty kill: 80.5%
Home record: 15-15-5
Road record: 13-16-5
Goals For: 160
Goals Against: 206
CapitalsPower play: 13.8%
Penalty kill: 86.9%
Home record: 23-10-3
Road record: 12-18-3
Goals For: 184
Goals Against: 193
Answer from Sunday's question: Matt Moulson scored the shootout winner against the Rangers in the rivals' most recent shootout, Feb. 24. Who scored the winner in the Islanders-Rangers first shootout? Miroslav Satan. Satan’s goal was the first-ever shootout goal for an Islander, en route to the franchise’s first shootout win on Oct. 19, 2005.
Jack Capuano announced after a full team skate this morning that PA Parenteau is out with an upper body injury and that seven D would warm up. Here are the forward lines: Moulson-Tavares-Okposo; Grabner-Nielsen-Bailey; Ullstrom-Cizikas-Niederreiter; Martin-Reasoner-Pandolfo. Evgeni Nabokov will be in net.
Capitals Expected LineupsForwards: Johansson-Laich-Ovechkin
Goaltenders: Vokoun, Neuvirth
Islanders Head Coach Jack Capuano on the team’s struggling penalty kill: "We lost the game in New Jersey on the Kovalchuk goal, which was on the power play, we lost the other night (against New Jersey) on the power play and tonight we didn’t help ourselves – we gave them three. Three goals out of the four (total). You’re not going to win many games like that."