CAPITALS (20-8-4) at ISLANDERS (13-14-6)
7 p.m. ET; MSG+ 2, CSN-DC, NHL.TV
Capitals team scope
The Washington Capitals are rested after the Christmas break, which they needed considering
Tuesday marks the beginning of a stretch that has them playing 17 games in 31 days... (separation emphasis mine)
It starts with a familiar opponent in the New York Islanders, whom they are 8-1-3 against in their past 12 games and 5-0-2 in their past seven at New York. "I think it's just the mindset; you've got a game against a good team," coach Barry Trotz said. "We've had a good rivalry over the past few years, so I think just come ready to play. I think the three-day break was fantastic for everybody. I'm not a big fan of playing during the holidays, so I think it was perfect. Let's get back at it and go to work."
Islanders team scope
Goalie Jaroslav Halak will start for the Islanders despite back-to-back wins by Thomas Greiss, when he allowed three goals on 79 shots. "We just had a plan over the three games with our goalie coaches, and the fact that Jaro's played pretty well against Washington too," coach Jack Capuano said when asked about the change. "The goalies that are playing well are going to play. We had a little bit of a plan going in with our goalie coaches. As we move forward, the guy that is playing well is going to get an opportunity to continue to play." New York has a chance to get back to .500 with a win; it enters 12 points behind the Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers for a wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference. "Each game is crucial for us with the place we're in and the spot we've put ourselves in," captain John Tavares said. "Each game's crucial, whether it's these three or whatever comes after. We need to get results and get them more consistently."
Capitals projected lineup
Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Justin Williams
Marcus Johansson -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie
Andre Burakovsky -- Lars Eller -- Jakub Vrana
Brett Connolly -- Jay Beagle -- Tom Wilson
Karl Alzner -- John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen
Brooks Orpik -- Nate Schmidt
Scratched: Daniel Winnik, Taylor Chorney
Islanders projected lineup
Anders Lee -- John Tavares -- Josh Bailey
Shane Prince -- Brock Nelson -- Anthony Beauvillier
Andrew Ladd -- Alan Quine -- Jason Chimera
Nikolay Kulemin -- Ryan Strome -- Cal Clutterbuck
Nick Leddy -- Travis Hamonic
Thomas Hickey -- Johnny Boychuk
Calvin de Haan -- Dennis Seidenberg
Scratched: Jean-Francois Berube, Stephen Gionta
Injured: Adam Pelech (upper body), Casey Cizikas (upper body)
Schmidt is being re-inserted into the Capitals lineup after being scratched against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Dec. 23. … Cizikas skated for 10-15 minutes Tuesday but Capuano said he's not close to returning. Cizikas was injured Dec. 15. Pelech, who's been out since Nov. 28, is getting closer, according to Capuano.
Holtby is 5-1-2 in his past eight games, including a 23-save shutout Friday. Carlson scored two goals Friday and has three points in his past two games. Backstrom has a goal and three assists in his past four. … Strome has three goals in his past five games and Beauvillier has two in his past three.
I'll stick for the 1st, see if our usual link works.