By Greg Dempson
The puck drops at 7:00 ET tonight at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn as the New York Islanders host the first place Washington Capitals. It’s not often you will have an opportunity to back the number one team in the NHL at only –109 even if they’re away from home. After digging a little deeper I opted for the total on tonight’s game rather than the money line.
Thomas Greiss gets the start in goal tonight for the Isles, he stopped 28 shots Monday afternoon to record his career high fifth straight win, (4–1 vs. Detroit,) and improved his record to 16–06–02 this season. Greiss has a save percentage of 93.1% at home as well as 95.7% in his last four games where he’s allowed only 4 goals. His GAA is 2.07 in his last six games.
Washington’s starting goalie for tonight has not been confirmed as of this report but I note that Braden Holtby is 12–04–02 with a GAA of 1.94 winning five of his last six with a 1.30 GAA. Holtby stopped 34 shots in Brooklyn on January 7 in a 4–1 Capitals victory. Holtby has a save percentage of 92.2% away from home this season.
From the Goalie Cam
· The Islanders are 04–10–03 to the under vs. division foes this season.
· Washington is 08–18 to the under when playing only their second game in five days.
· The past two seasons the Islanders are 19–30 to the under in home games against teams that average 2.85+ goals per game.
· Eight out of the last 10 games between these two teams have produced 5 or less combined goals and when hosting the Capitals these two foes are 0–3–1 to the under.
· The Islanders are 05–11–01 to the under when off a win.
· In the second half of the season the Capitals are 02–10 to the under when playing against good power play killing teams who limit opponents to 14.5% or less of their scoring chances the last three seasons.
· In the second half of the season the Islanders are 06–16 to the under vs. against good starting goalies with a save percentage of 91.5% or better in the last three seasons.
· In the second half of the season play teams who are winning 70% of their games, (or better,) to stay under the total when they’ve won four of five of their last six games and playing another team with a winning record. This system is 21–46 = 69% to the under since 1996.
Capitals vs NY Islanders Pick
My Every Edge selection for tonight is for the Capitals and Islanders to play under 5.5 goals.