NY Islanders vs Capitals - Game 1 Playoff Preview & NHL Betting Lines
NY Islanders (-245) at Washington Capitals (+205)
Wednesday (7:00 ET) – April 15, 2015
On Wednesday night, the New York Islanders and Washington Capitals will go toe-to-toe for game 1 of their Eastern Conference playoff series. The pair hasn’t met in the postseason since 1993 when the Islanders clinched Game 6 and advanced to the next round. New York has a history of success in the playoffs against the Capitals, having lost only one out of six series between the two clubs. That being said, both teams finished the season with 101 points and the Capitals finished the season stronger than their opponents with a 6-3-1 record compared to New York’s 4-3-3.
What to watch from the NY Islanders (47-28-7)
In recent years, it seems that the Islanders downfall has been the fact that they’ve leaned too heavily on the forward position, specifically star center John Tavares. This season, things were not as imbalanced as centers Ryan Strome and Brock Nelson, along with first-year center Anders Lee, have all helped balance the load and added depth to the roster. In 2013, New York could not get passed the Pittsburgh Penguins because of subpar goaltending. Now, it’s a new day and Halak will help ensure that the Islanders are good enough to get passed Washington, especially if their offense is clicking.
What to watch from the Washington Capitals (45-26-11)
The Capitals haven’t enjoyed a playoff series victory over the Islanders since they swept New York 3-0 in the 1993 Patrick Division Semifinals. Alex Ovechkin, who scored five points (four goals) against them this season, looks to lead his Capitals past them this time around in much the same fashion. Ovechkin and Tavares battled all season long for the Art Ross Trophy, and the Capitals’ captain prevailed with an NHL-best 53 goals, claiming the award for the sixth time. The question for Washington is whether or not their goaltender Braden Holtby will have the strength to make it through the postseason after a grueling 73 games played during the regular season. He tied Olie Kolzig for most in a season in the history of his club.
NHL Betting Picks: Capitals, Over
This first game of a series always sets the tone, and it will be the Washington Capitals to strike first. Holtby appears to be in good shape and Ovechkin’s strong play will propel them passed the Islanders for a Game 1 victory.
*Betting lines mentioned in this article are subject to change to due time sensitivity. Please visit the sportsbook for up to date odds.
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