NHL Odds, Pick, Prediction for Capitals vs. Islanders (Jan. 15)
Mike Stobe/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Washington Capitals standout Alex Ovechkin.
- The Capitals are favored on Saturday afternoon against the Rangers.
- Washington's attack is thriving this season and is coming into this game with over a week of rest.
- Jacob McKenna breaks down the game and gives his top pick below.
Capitals vs. Islanders Odds
|Time||2 p.m. ET|
|Odds via DraftKings. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
The Washington Capitals hit the road Saturday to take on the New York Islanders in an NHL showdown.
The Capitals enter the game having lost four consecutive games, which is their longest losing streak of the season. Meanwhile, the Islanders have won three in a row and managed to keep picking up wins despite having several postponements.
Washington has clearly hit a rough patch, but will it be able to turn things around and grab the road win?
Washington currently sits in third place in the Metropolitan Division and has the eighth-most points (37) in the NHL, but its recent play doesn’t reflect the fact this team is a contender.
Over the course of their four-game losing streak, the Capitals have been outscored, 19-9, by their opponents. This is a team that has the third-most goals scored in 5-on-5 this season, according to MoneyPuck, and score 2.94 goals per 60 minutes, so its lack of recent goal production is a concern.
Another issue is that Alex Ovechkin is listed as day-to-day with an upper body injury, which would obviously be a significant loss for a struggling team.
However, if there’s a team that can turn things around after hitting some bumps in the road, it would be the Capitals.
Washington has surrendered plenty of goals recently, but by no means is that reflective of its defensive play. In 5-on-5 situations, the Capitals have just 2.23 Expected Goals Against per 60 minutes (xGA/60), a metric in which they rank in the top five.
If the defense can get back on track, Washington will certainly have a chance.
No starter has been named yet, which means we are likely to see either Ilya Samsonov or Zach Fucale. Samsonov has not played since Jan. 7, and in 5-on-5 this season he has an SV % of .907 and -3.0 Goals Saved Above Expected (GSAx). Fucale has appeared in just four games this year and has an SV% of .962 and 3.2 GSAx in 5-on-5 as well.
New York Islanders
COVID-19 has ravaged the New York Islanders so much so that they’ve had eight of their last 11 games postponed.
However, the postponements have not slowed down the Isles. Despite not playing any games for upwards of one week, this team has still found ways to win against the Sabres, Oilers and Devils and are 6-2-2 in their last ten.
A large reason for their success as of late has been because of their defense, which has been solid all season. In its last three games, New York has given up just five total goals, and on the season it has surrendered 52 goals in 5-on-5 which is the fewest in the NHL.
However, the defense has clearly done its part, but the offense has struggled to keep up.
In 5-on-5, the Islanders have scored 43 total goals, which is by far the lowest in the NHL. One reason for being so low in that metric is because of all of the postponements, but the Isles are scoring just 1.82 goals per 60 minutes in 5-on-5 this season which proves they have been lacking some horsepower on that end of the ice.
Ilya Sorokin will likely be the guy we see defending the net in this game for New York, and in 5-on-5 this year he has been stellar, posting an SV% of .936 and 8.0 GSAx.
Capitals vs. Islanders Pick
There are some concerns in regard to Washington entering this matchup, but it hasn’t played since Jan. 10, so it’s possible having a few days off is all it needs to find its footing again.
New York has held its opponents in check as of late, but all of the teams it has faced during its win streak are outside the top 14 in goals scored this season. The Islanders’ defense has been good, but it hasn’t been pushed.
I think having a few days off is all Washington needed, which has given it time to hit the reset button and regroup. Having to face the Blues, Wild, and Bruins in their last three games proved to be a challenge, but the Capitals get an easier matchup, which I think they can take advantage of in this game.
Pick: Washington ML (-135)