The New York Islanders, spearheaded by Mathew Barzal and Brock Nelson, are set to take the ice against John Carlson, Alex Ovechkin, and the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena in a divisional tilt. The match will get underway at 1 p.m. ET on Tuesday, December 31, and fans at home can see it live on NBC Sports Washington.
New York Islanders vs. Washington Capitals Odds
Washington is 27-13 straight up (SU) and has netted 8.6 units for moneyline bettors this year. That win percentage, strongest in the NHL so far this season, is an improvement compared to what the team did during the 2018-19 season (48-34). Of its 40 games this season, 25 have gone over the total, while 15 have gone under and none have pushed. The team is 11-7 SU at home this season.
The Capitals have converted on 21.6 percent of their power play opportunities this year, a figure that’s right around league average. On the other hand, their penalty kill is rated fourth overall, and they’ve successfully killed off 84.7 percent of all penalties.
Averaging 26.6 saves per game with a .904 save percentage, Braden Holtby (17-11-4) has been the most dependable goalkeeper for Washington this season. If Washington decides to give him a rest, however, head coach Todd Reirden might roll with Ilya Samsonov (10-4-4 record, .918 save percentage, 2.28 goals against average).
New York has earned moneyline bettors 8.0 units this season and is currently 24-13 straight up (SU). A total of 20 of its matches have gone under the total, while 14 have gone over and just two have pushed. As a road team this season, the Islanders are 11-7 SU.
The Islanders have converted on 20.5 percent of their power play chances this year, a mark that’s right around league average. On the other hand, its penalty kill unit is ranked 17th overall and it’s successfully killed off 80.2 percent of all penalties.
Semyon Varlamov (24.9 saves per game) has been the primary option in the net for New York. Varlamov owns a 14-9-3 record, and has registered a .920 save percentage and 2.40 goals against average this year.
New York Islanders at Washington Capitals Free Picks
Free NHL Pick: SU Winner – Capitals, O/U – Under
The Capitals are 3-2 in games decided by shootout. The Islanders are 3-1 in shootouts.
New York has managed 28.6 shot attempts per game over its last five road games while Washington is averaging 34.0 shots per game over its last five home outings.
This game features two of the more aggressive defenses in the league. New York skaters have accounted for the league’s second-most hits per game (30.1) while the Capitals have registered the seventh-most (24.3).