Caps trying to regain footing out East

Caps try to regain footing in Eastern Conference 

Washington didn’t exactly end the month of November on a stirring note. But can the reigning Presidents’ Trophy winner return to form against the Islanders?

The two Metropolitan Division rivals face off tonight in the nation’s capital. Online sports book Bovada.lv gives the Capitals odds of -245 to take care of business at home. Conversely, New York enters the Verizon Center as a +205 underdog.

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Having captured just five of its past 10 contests, Washington (13-6-2) hopes for a more well-rounded effort this evening. It certainly helps that Alex Ovechkin makes a habit of terrorizing the Isles. The five-time All-Star boasts 32 goals and 15 assists in 42 career meetings with Jack Capuano’s club.

New York (8-10-4) will likely call upon Jaroslav Halak to neutralize Ovechkin & Co. The veteran netminder is 6-6 with a 2.73 GAA and .897 save percentage in 12 prior meetings with the Caps. Halak may not be forced to confront Matt Niskanen, either, after the defenseman sustained a lower-body injury over the weekend.

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The hosts are bound to break out of their offensive malaise sooner rather than later. Considering the Islanders’ shakiness between the pipes, this seems like a prime opportunity to light the lamp quite a bit. We’ll lean toward the Barry Trotz-led crew by a comfortable margin.

 

THURSDAY NHL FREE PICK: CAPITALS -1.5

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