The New York Islanders and Washington Capitals meet Wednesday night at Capital One Arena in the nation’s capital, with puck drop scheduled for 7:30 p.m. ET.
These two Metropolitan Division rivals are in the hunt for a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference, with the Islanders sitting pretty with 85 points. The Capitals, while still mathematically alive, have a lot of work to do in the final eight games.
This is the third out of four regular-season meetings — Washington won the first two, both on Long Island, by a combined score of 9-4.
Will the third time be a charm for the Isles, or will the Caps continue to punish their rivals? We’ll discuss in our NHL betting picks for Islanders vs. Capitals on Wednesday, March 29.
Islanders vs Capitals best odds
Islanders vs Capitals picks and predictions
The Islanders picked up a titanic win last time out against the New Jersey Devils, throttling the Metro leaders by a 5-1 count. It was quite the bounce back after an atrocious 2-0 showing on home ice against the Buffalo Sabres over the weekend.
The Isles have picked up at least one point in five of the past six games, going 4-1-1 dating back to March 15. Now, New York needs to find a way to finally solve Washington.
The Islanders were tripped up 4-3 in overtime in the first meeting back on January 16 in Elmont, as Darcy Kuemper bested Ilya Sorokin. The good news for Sorokin is that he won’t have to contend with Dmitry Orlov, who bagged the game-winning tally in OT, as he has since been traded to Boston. Garnet Hathaway also scored in that game, also in a B’s sweater these days.
Kuemper also bested the Caps in the 5-1 win on March 11, and he barely broke a sweat with just 17 saves on 18 shots. Dylan Strome, T.J. Oshie, Anthony Mantha, Nic Dowd, and Nicklas Backstrom provided all of the support he could possibly need, with deadline addition Rasmus Sandin picking up three apples.
It’s no surprise that Kuemper is projected to start for the home side. He’s been a bit shaky lately, coughing up four goals on 40 shots against the Pittsburgh Penguins last time out Saturday, while allowing four goals three times in his past four outings. But he has a 2-0-0 record, 1.94 GAA, and .938 SV% in two starts against the Isles.
The Islanders are expected to counter with Sorokin, who sparkled with 30 saves on 31 shots against the Devils. He’s 7-1-1 with a 2.45 GAA and .914 SV% in nine starts in the month of March.
While the Capitals have had the Islanders' numbers this season, look for the Islanders to ride their hot goaltender and exact a little revenge in the nation’s capitals.
My best bet: Islanders moneyline (-106)
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Islanders vs Capitals moneyline analysis
The Islanders have relished the role of underdog in recent games, winning 5-1 as a short ‘dog at home against the Devils on Monday, while rolling to a 7-2 win against the Toronto Maple Leafs on March 21.
In fact, New York is 6-1-1 in the past eight games as an underdog, cashing seven times on the puck line.
The Islanders have won five of the past seven games inside the Metropolitan Division, while going 5-1 in the past six games after allowing two or fewer goals in the previous outing.
The Capitals were tripped up 4-3 on the road against the Pittsburgh Penguins, a super costly game in the wild-card chase, as the Pens are currently slotted in that final Eastern Conference playoff spot.
The Caps are just 1-3-1 in the past five games, and have just one win in the past 13 games against a team currently in the playoffs. Yep, that win was against the Islanders on March 11 at UBS Arena.
Washington is still just 1-4 in the past five games in the Metro, while going 2-5 in the past seven games against winning teams, while going 3-8 in the past 11 games on home ice.
Yes, the Caps have had the Isles’ number lately, but Kuemper has tailed off, and the Isles are running hot. Look for the third time to be a charm for New York, as the road team continues to dominate this series.
Islanders vs Capitals Over/Under analysis
The Islanders have lit the lamp four or more times in five of the past six games, averaging 4.3 goals per game (GPG) during the span. The Over is also an impressive 6-2-1 across the past nine games, as the Isles have been dinged for three or more goals in five of those nine outings.
The Isles have cashed the Over in four of the past five games on the road, while going 4-0-2 in the past six games inside the Metropolitan Division. The Over is 4-1-1 in the past six games against Eastern Conference foes, too.
The Capitals have rolled up eight consecutive Over results, including four straight on home ice. The Over is 4-0 in the past four inside the division, and 4-0 in the past four against winning teams, too.
In addition, the Over is 4-1 in the past five meetings in this series. Expect a little fire-wagon hockey in the nation’s capital.
Islanders vs Capitals betting trend to know
The underdog has cashed in 19 of the past 26 meetings in this series, while the Over has connected in four of the past five battles between these Metropolitan Division rivals. Find more NHL betting trends for Islanders vs Capitals.
Islanders vs Capitals game info
|Location:||Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.|
|Date:||Wednesday, March 29, 2023|
|Puck drop:||7:30 p.m. ET|