[7:10 PM] Islanders @ Capitals

Who will WIN this matchup?

New York Islanders (7-10-4)

@ Washington Capitals (13-6-2)


Starting Goalies:

Jaroslav Halak (NYI): Unconfirmed

Braden Holtby (WSH): Confirmed


After having four days to stew over their third consecutive road defeat, the Washington Capitals look to take out their frustrations on a Metropolitan Division rival when they host the New York Islanders on Thursday. Washington has been idle since Saturday, when it suffered a 4-2 loss at Toronto a day after concluding a 4-1-0 homestand with a triumph over Buffalo.

The Islanders, who dropped a 2-1 decision in Washington on Oct. 15, enter the showdown seeking their first three-game winning streak of the season as they pulled out a 5-3 home triumph over Pittsburgh on Wednesday after squandering a three-goal lead in the third period. Anders Lee was the hero, scoring with 26.6 seconds remaining to give New York back-to-back victories for just the second time this season (Oct. 21 and 23). The 26-year-old Lee has recorded four goals in as many games after tallying just once in his first 18 contests this season.

Nikolay Kulemin scored into an empty net three seconds after Lee’s tally Wednesday, putting New York in the record book as it matched the NHL mark for the fastest two goals by one team set March 12, 1935, by the St. Louis Eagles and equaled on Jan. 21, 2004, by the Minnesota Wild. Ryan Strome returned to the lineup against Pittsburgh after being a healthy scratch for two contests but saw his goal-scoring drought reach 15 games. Captain John Tavares, who leads the team with 17 points, was kept in check by the Penguins and is in danger of being kept off the scorsheet in back-to-back games for the first time since the opening two contests of the season.

Washington altered its roster Wednesday, recalling center Paul Carey and left wing Jakub Vrana from Hershey while assigning center Zach Sanford to the American Hockey League club. Carey made his season debut with the Capitals against Columbus on Nov. 20 and was a healthy scratch for the next three contests before being assigned to the Bears on Sunday, while the 20-year-old Vrana — the 13th overall pick in the 2014 draft — has yet to play in the NHL. Sanford notched one assist in 19 games with Washington this season — his first in the league.

Washington has received only three goals from its defense corps, with Karl Alzner scoring two and Dmitry Orlov netting the other.


StreakSmarts Pick: Washington Capitals

Confidence: 7/10

StreakSmarter Pick