The Islanders and Capitals drop the puck at noon EDT.
Capitals (-112) @ Islanders (5)
Pick: Capitals -112
Let’s start with the obvious with the Islanders leading 2-0 in the series. It’s very difficult to go up 3-0 in any series of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. As drastic as the disparity in talent is between the Colorado Avalanche and the Arizona Coytoes, even Colorado took a hard-fought loss yesterday in Game 3 as Darcy Kuemper made a career high 49 saves to get the Coyotes into the series.
Now shift to a series in which the two teams going in were perceived to be equals, and it’s even harder to see a 3-0 series lead. Remember, the Capitals were up 2-0 late in the 2nd period of Game 1 before the wheels fell off and New York lit the lamp four straight times to take last Wednesday’s series opener 4-2.
Braden Holtby’s best game is still ahead of him in this series for Washington in goal and Alex Ovechkin just got his first two points since the restart with a pair of goals in Game 2. We’re betting on Holtby to be better, Ovechkin not to become invisible again and we may get the return of Nicklas Backstrom in this one after the Swedish center for Washington could not clear the concussion protocol in time to play on Friday. If you made me choose between an Islanders sweep or this series getting to a Game 7, I’d still say it goes the distance. It’s likely somewhere in between, as my pick before the series started was New York in 6, but that’s still enough for me to expect some push back from the Capitals today.