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Islanders vs. Capitals, 7:30 ET
I’ve heard the advice that you should try and work up a sweat every day. Some people like working out every day, but me, I like to bet on sports and sweat that way. Doesn’t get much sweatier than a 2-1 victory on the ice like we had last night. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter how it happens, it just matters that it is a winner. I’m anticipating this one to be sweaty too, but that doesn’t scare me away.
The Islanders are in control of their own destiny and will be in the playoffs. They haven’t locked it up quite yet, but it is hard to see them falling out of contention. They have played pretty good hockey lately, winning three of their past five games. The two losses came against the Sabers and Blue Jackets in a back-to-back road/home travel situation. That is never an easy situation to play in. They do have rest before this game but since the 21st, this will be the fifth game for the Islanders. It will also be the third different city that they will be playing in. Ilya Sorokin has been very good for the Islanders this season with the fifth-best goals against per game average in the league. He also has the third-best save percentage and is leading the league in shutouts. The Islanders are 7-2 in his March starts, but he hasn’t been particularly consistent. He’s allowed at least three goals in four of the five road starts that he’s had this month.
The Capitals have had the Islanders number this season winning both of the first two games against the Islanders. The Capitals do have a chance to make the playoffs, but it is pretty slim. If they win this game, that would help a bit as they move up in the rankings. As usual, they are led by Alex Ovechkin in both goals and points, but aside from him, they aren’t getting much help. The benefit they have in this game is that they have a significant rest advantage. I mentioned how many games the Islanders played since the 21st, the Capitals have played just three in that same time. They had three full days of rest before this game though. The Capitals are not playing great hockey right now, but they had a few days to correct their issues. In addition, the Islanders are not a good road team. That means that this is another opportunity for Washington to gain some edge. Darcy Kuemper has had a decent season but I mentioned Sorokin’s recent inconsistency. Kuemper has been inconsistent most of this season. He also has five shutouts on the year, but he also has allowed 24 goals in nine games this month including four goals in three of the past four games. Most of those were road games.
I do think that the Capitals have a better chance to win this game than the Islanders. It isn’t a good situation for the Islanders, even if they have a better team. I’m going to back Washington to win this game at -105. There is more importance on this game for Washington as well. This could be one of those games where a loss could cost them whatever little hope for their season remains.
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