The NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs begin tonight when the New York Islanders take on the Washington Capitals in Game 1 of their Eastern Conference first round matchup. The game is scheduled for a 7:00 p.m. start time and it will be televised live on the USA Network. Currently the betting odds for the game have the Capitals favored to get the win in this first matchup.
This should be one of the better series in the NHL Playoffs this post season. The Washington Capitals finished fourth in the Eastern Conference standings while the New York Islanders were fifth — now they get a chance to play each other in the opening round of the playoffs.
Washington missed the playoffs last year, but is looking for a positive post season this time around. Alex Ovechkin is arguably the best player on the planet, but he has never guided the Capitals to a spot in the conference finals. This year he poured in 53 goals to lead the league in scoring for the third straight season and the fifth time in his career. He's obviously going to be a a major factor in this series, but he's not going to be able to do it alone.
New York's star John Tavares scored 38 goals himself and finished with 86 points for the season. He's scored in four of the last five games overall for the Islanders and will be counted on for them to have any type of success. It's been a resurgent year for the Islanders, but drawing the Capitals in the first round is a tough one.
These teams met four times during the regular season, each team picked up two victories. Both teams have gotten very solid goal tending this season, but tonight the Capitals pick up the first win of the series on their home ice.
Free Pick: Washington
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