National Hockey League
Preview
Washington at NY Islanders
When: 7:00 PM ET, Wednesday, November 26, 2014
Where: Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum, Uniondale, New York


The status of superstar Alex Ovechkin is in question as the Washington Capitals prepare to visit the red-hot New York Islanders on Wednesday. Ovechkin was forced to exit Tuesday's practice after he "tweaked" an upper-body injury but coach Barry Trotz is hopeful his captain and leading goal scorer will be in the lineup for the first leg of a home-and-home series with New York. “I’m pretty sure Ovie should be able to go," Trotz said. "If he can’t, then we’ll have to make some decisions there. We only have one extra guy.”

Washington can't afford to be short-handed against the surging Islanders, who are off to the best start in franchise history with 15 victories in their first 21 games. New York extended its winning streak to four contests and improved to 9-1-0 in its last 10 with a 1-0 shootout victory over visiting Philadelphia on Monday to remain tied with Pittsburgh atop the Metropolitan Division. The Capitals have won four of the last five matchups with the Islanders, including a pair of one-goal decisions in their last two visits to Long Island.

TV: 7 p.m. ET, CSN Plus Washington, MSG Plus (New York)

ABOUT THE CAPITALS (9-8-3): Forward Brooks Laich, who has missed 14 of the past 15 games due to a shoulder injury, appeared ready to rejoin the lineup before deciding to sit out at least one more contest. He'll be joined on the sideline by defenseman Mike Green, who suffered an upper-body injury in Saturday's 2-1 home loss to Buffalo. Washington, which owns the league's second-ranked power play, continues to struggle on offense with only seven goals during its current 2-3-0 stretch. The Capitals, however, are getting strong play from their penalty-killing unit, erasing all 14 short-handed situations over the past six games.

ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (15-6-0): One reason for the success of New York is an unblemished record in shootouts - the Islanders improved to 5-0 in the bonus format on Monday, a game in which they matched their season high by launching 46 shots on goal. "Their forward lines, they’ve got three scoring lines and a real hard fourth line," Trotz said of New York. "They remind me, very similar of the Eastern version of the St. Louis Blues in some ways.” Goaltender Jaroslav Halak continued his sensational play by winning his seventh consecutive start and registering his third shutout in the last six appearances.

OVERTIME

1. Capitals G Braden Holtby is 5-1-0 with a 1.94 goals-against average versus the Islanders.

2. Halak is one victory shy of matching his career-best winning streak of eight, set with St. Louis in 2012.

3. Ovechkin, who has 22 goals in 33 games versus New York, is scheduled to play in his 700th career game.

PREDICTION: Islanders 3, Capitals 2
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div
Washington 9-8-1-2 L1 4-4-1-2 5-4-0-0 0-0-0-0 9-8-1-2 3-1-0-0
NY Islanders 15-6-0-0 W4 7-2-0-0 8-4-0-0 0-0-0-0 15-6-0-0 ---
Last Meeting
Washington NY Islanders
Date Away Home Shots Saves PP Shots Saves PP
4/5/14 WAS 4 (SO) NYI 3 29 35 0-5 38 26 1-3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Total Points Player  
Washington N. Backstrom 1
NY Islanders J. Bailey 1
Goals Player  
Washington N. Backstrom 1
NY Islanders C. Clutterbuck 1
Assists Player  
Washington T. Brouwer 1
NY Islanders J. Bailey 1
Saves Player  
Washington B. Holtby 35
NY Islanders E. Nabokov 26
Season
Total Points Player  
Washington N. Backstrom 22
NY Islanders K. Okposo 22
Goals Player  
Washington A. Ovechkin 12
NY Islanders B. Nelson 11
Assists Player  
Washington N. Backstrom 17
NY Islanders K. Okposo 15
Saves Player  
Washington B. Holtby 430
NY Islanders J. Halak 415
Quickchart Matchup
Washington Off vs  NY Islanders Def
2.75 GF
2.71 GA
30.4 Shots
28.7 Shots
15 PP
15 PK
NY Islanders Off vs  Washington Def
3.05 GF
2.6 GA
33.4 Shots
26.8 Shots
15 PP
11 PK