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NHL Thursday Night’s on The Ice: New York Islanders Vs. Washington Capitals
Ovechkin Back in Action
Superstar Alexander Ovechkin returns from his one game suspension Thursday night, looking to help lead the NHL’s best team back into the win column. Ovechkin opted to sit out the All-Star game – which automatically amounts into a suspension for the first game afterwards. The Capitals got whipped 5-2 in their game without Ovechkin, but fans of the franchise and player would rather see him remain healthy for a potentially lengthy playoff run then suit up for the Metropolitan Division All-Star team.
Coming out of the All-Star break the New York Islanders had 35 games remaining on their schedule – the most of any team in the NHL. This can be a blessing – as it allows them a chance at more points – and a curse – as the team will have to play more back-to-backs. The Islanders are lucky to have the benefit of having two strong goaltending options to better manage the multiple back-to-backs they have going down the stretch. Goaltenders Jaroslav Halak and Thomas Greiss both have double digit wins, and both rank in the top 15 for Goals Against Average and Save Percentage. With two quality goalies and plenty of games remaining look for the Islanders to be a top three team in their division come April of this year.
New York Islanders vs. Washington Capitals
With Alex Ovechkin returning for the Capitals on Thursday – after over a week off to rest and refresh – the host Washington should be able to take care of their division rival Islanders. The Capitals beat the Islanders the only time they have played this season by a score of 4-1 in New York. The Capitals haven`t lost to the Islander in regulation since February of 2014 and are 6-2-2 against their division rival over their last ten meetings. Pick the Capitals on Thursday night is a good and smart bet at a money line of -163.
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