Washington Capitals vs. New York Islanders
NHL: Tuesday, August 18, 2020 at 8:00 p.m. ET
The Capitals are in a big hole in this series down 3-0 and they need to find their offense if they are going to extend this Eastern Conference playoff series. Before the pandemic hiatus, Washington ranked second in the league in goals per game. To say their attack has struggled since the break would be an understatement. They have only won one of their seven games since play resumed and they have not scored more than two goals in any of the games.
The Islanders are flying high up 3-0 in this series and they can close it out on Tuesday night. Their defense has been solid in the series only allowing five goals. The New York attack had lit up the Caps for nine goals in the first two games of the series and while they only scored two games in Game 3 they only allowed one goal.
It Helps to Score to WinIn Game 2 in this series, the Caps played legit D but only scored one goal in the 2-1 OT loss. They gave up the game-winner in OT 4:28 in the extra period and Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the lone goal in the loss. Alex Ovechkin led the league in goals in the regular season and had two goals in Game 2 but did not find the net in the Game 3 loss but did have an assist. Washington won the Stanley Cup in 2018 but lost in the first round of the playoffs last season and unless their offense finally takes shape that looks to happen again. ‘
Braden Holtby had a good Game 3 in the loss stopping 32 of 34 shots but the attack failed to help him out, again. He had given up four goals in each of the first two games of this series and I look for him to get the start in this game.
Good Start, Good FinishIn the Game 3 win, the Islanders took a 1-0 lead in the first period and after the Caps tied the game in the second period Mathew Barzal scored his second goal of the playoffs in OT.
Anders Lee scored the lone goal for New York in regulation and he defense played well again in putting the Capitals on the brink of elimination.
Semyon Varlamov stopped 22 of 23 shots in the Game 3 win and he has been solid in the series. In his last four starts, including the three starts in this series, he has given up only six goals. Varlamov has been helped by the New York D, as he has yet to face more than 26 shots in any games this series. It would be pretty shocking if he did not get the start in between the pipes for Game 4
The New York Islanders are:
The Washington Capitals are: