New York Islanders (41-25-10) at Washington Capitals (43-23-10)
NHL Hockey: Thursday, August 20, 2020 at 8:00 pm (Scotiabank Arena)
The Line: Washington Capitals -115 / New York Islanders +100 --- Over/Under: 5.5 Click to Get Latest Betting Odds
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The New York Islanders and the Washington Capitals meet in game five of their best-of-seven Eastern Conference quarter-final series from Scotiabank Arena on Thursday.
The New York Islanders will attempt to close out the series once again after Washington got on the board, making it a 3-1 series with a 3-2 win over the Isles last time out. Jean-Gabriel Pageau opened the scoring for New York just 3:50 into the game and Mathew Barzal pushed New York’s lead to 2-0 just over five minutes later. Evgeny Kuznetsov got Washington on the board just under four minutes into the second period before Alex Ovechkin tied the game at two for Washington just 1:54 after that on the power play. The tie held until early in the 3rd when Ovechkin would score his second goal of the game 3:40 into the 3rd period, and the 3-2 lead would hold for Washington the rest of the way, forcing a game five in the process.
Braden Holtby got the win in goal for Washington after stopping 24 of 26 shots faced in the win while Semyon Varlamov ended up with the loss for New York after giving up three goals on 29 shots in defeat.
New York is 4-1 in their last 5 games overall and 6-2 in their last 8 playoff games as an underdog while the over is 4-1-2 in their last 7 games against the Eastern Conference. Washington is 206 in their last 8 games overall and 0-5 in their last 5 games following a win while the over is 7-0 in their last 7 playoff games as a favorite. New York is 4-1 in the last 5 meetings between these two teams.
I had initially leaned towards New York as the Islanders are a gritty, well-coached team under Barry Trotz and New York can bounce back and rally behind Varlamov who still has a GAA under two so far in the postseason. However, Washington’s a veteran team and Alex Ovechkin isn’t the kind of captain you want to give a crack of momentum to, as he will fire up his team, rally the troops and bring you all you can handle in the next game. New York needs to tread lightly here, but I think the Capitals get up for the challenge and force a game six. Give me Washington here.