The New York Islanders and Washington Capitals take to the ice again tonight in an NHL Playoffs Game 7 matchup. The game is scheduled for a 7:300 p.m. start time and it will be televised live on the NBC Sports Network. Currently the betting odds for the game have the Capitals favored to clinch the series on their home ice tonight.
The Islanders forced this Game 7 against Washington after picking up a 3-1 victory on their home ice Saturday afternoon. It still might end up being the final game played at Nassau Coliseum, but at least it was a victory for the Islanders and their fans. Now their attention shifts over to looking to continue their season in a second straight game.
Washington won two straight games to take a lead in the series and put the Islanders on the brink of elimination, but a pair of third period goals lifted the Islanders on Saturday. It's been a physical series as both teams have been hitting in the open ice and on the boards, so expect that to continue tonight. Neither team will be wanting to make a mistake at this point in the series with the winner-take-all riding on this one tonight.
These two squads played in one other Game 7 in their history, with the Islanders and Pat LaFontaine getting the win in four overtimes. It's still the longest Game 7 in NHL Playoff history, and they will more than likely stay that way after tonight.
The Capitals have grown accustomed to playing in these types of games as well. This will be Washington's eighth Game 7 the last eight years. Only the Boston Bruins have played in more during that time, taking part in nine such games. Washington is just 3-9 all-time in Game 7 appearances, and only 2-7 in nine home games.
The stars will need to show up for both teams tonight to have a chance to win. Neither John Tavares or Alex Ovechkin have been the best players on the ice consistently in this series, but both would have to play well tonight for their team to win, it seems. In net Braden Holtby and Jaroslav Halak will have to be solid as well. Most of these games have been close in this series and there's no reason to expect anything different tonight. The goaltender that has a great game definitely gives his team an advantage.
Washington is playing at home, which is big in Game 7. Tonight they find a way to win a close one.
Free Pick: Capitals
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