Friday, October 30, 2009

Capitals Play Host to Tavares, Islanders

Jose Theodore was terrific in his past two starts, and now he gets a chance for his third straight win when the Islanders make their first visit to Chinatown this season.

This year, the Isles have the top pick from this summer's draft in John Tavares, and after a good start, the top pick has cooled off a bit with just one goal in his last five contests after recording 10 points in his first six contests. Still, he has been good in keeping the Islanders in contests, as New York has at least one point in seven of 11 contests (2-4-5).

Last Saturday, the Islanders outplayed the Capitals for a good portion of the contest, but thanks to some timely saves by Theodore and a good finish by Mike Green, Washington grabbed a 3-2 overtime win.

After Semyon Varlamov grabbed the win in Atlanta, with Columbus on tap for Sunday, Theodore is expected to get the nod against the Islanders.

The Islanders were good in containing Alexander Ovechkin by limiting him to just two shots in their last meeting, but the Caps' star has been terrific the last two games, scoring four goals and adding an assist for a league lead in goals (13) and points (22), not to mention a league-best plus-11. Ovechkin was stellar against the Isles last season, scoring six goals in four meetings, but went goalless against New York for the first time since February of 2008 last week.

With their third game in four nights, the Caps will need to try to jump on top of the Islanders early, as New York has been able to jump out to leads against some quality opponents this month, only to see those leads evaporate - as it did Saturday. But in New York's last game against their crosstown rival Rangers, the Isles held on for a 3-1 win against a quality opponent.

With a chance to equal the franchise's best October win total, the Caps look to get out to a good start and then play a bit more than 25 minutes to see if they can close out with a 9-2-2 start to the campaign as the calendar turns to November before the Blue Jackets pay a visit to Verizon Center on Sunday.

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