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The Washington Capitals have made a habit of lazy plays thus far in this series. Let’s not bring up past pains from the round robin, this Caps team has looked lackluster at best through the actual playoffs.
If it’s not Braden Holtby’s horrendous game one giveaway, it’s Lars Eller or Jakub Vrana in the attacking zone coughing it up. Either way you slice it, the Washington netminder is going to get a neck tan very soon from that red light going off behind him all the time. In game one, yes it was his fault on a few. In game two, his team completely left him out to dry.
Washington will need a huge bounce-back performance and it’s going to start with accountability with the puck. This team needs to get back to basics and that starts with clearing the zone and securing possession. Two little things that could deliver major results.
We believe the Caps will recover and cut the Isles series lead in half. Washington wins game three by a score of 3-1.
Washington Capitals to win (-115)!
The Over has hit seven times in the Islanders last 10 games. Meanwhile, Washington has hit the Under in four of their last six.
|Capitals vs Islanders Game Information|
|What||Washington Capitals vs New York Islanders|
|Where||Scotiabank Arena, Toronto, ON|
|When||August 16, 2020 12:00 PM EST|
|How to watch||NBC Sports, Sportsnet|
The difference in game one was tenacity. The Islanders came back from two goals down to take the early series lead. In game two, the Islanders were just as hungry but they primarily made sure they capitalized on the Caps mistakes.
If they can continue to keep Washington on their heels by utilizing their speedy forecheck the game and series may eventually be theirs. If the Islanders let up even a little though these Caps could certainly claw their way back into this series.
A great performance from Braden Holtby still hasn’t been seen in this entire postseason. A huge outing could be the jolt this team needs to get a win in game three. They desperately need to turn the tides and a stellar outing from Holtby is the answer they so desperately need.
Of all teams to come back from 2-0 right now in this NHL postseason, we like Washington the best. There is just far too much talent throughout this lineup for it not to happen. We’re not saying that we’re confident in handing this series to the Caps. We are comfortable though saying that they’ll claw a game or two back. We can then gauge it from there.
Finally, in game two captain Alex Ovechkin came through with an inspiring performance. He posted two goals in the loss, but it was enough to turn a few heads. It showed that this team isn’t asleep after all and if they can ride the coattails of their captain then maybe they can return to form.
For a big win in the clutch here the Caps will not only need their captain to stay hot, but they’ll need to limit their mistakes. This series wouldn’t look the way it does without the costly giveaways that keep occurring off the blades of the Caps sticks. They need to play basic hockey and limit their turnovers or this series is as good as gone.
The Islanders have done an amazing job of keeping Braden Holtby moving. They’ve scored a few big goals simply by shifting the Caps netminder from post to post chasing some gorgeous tips. They’ll need to keep those sensational plays coming but more than that they’ll need to shore up defensively.
If the Islanders can secure their own end of the rink, they can put a stranglehold on this series with ease. They’ve done a fantastic job of capitalizing off of turnovers and have done well getting Washington to cough it up in the first place. However, in their own end they have allotted the Caps some time to set up and it’s burned them on a few occasions.
If the Islanders can shut down the Caps on the walls in their own end and can keep making them pay off the turnovers they can take a 3-0 series lead. They’ll also then likely take this series in four or five games.
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Ryan has worked as a sports writer for the past decade and sports journalism for almost 15 years. He has worked in television, radio, print, digital, and podcasting since 2006. He is also the former co-host of the NFL Weekly Pick 'Em and Best Bets Podcast along with the Prop Drop on WSN.com.More info on Ryan Sullivan
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