The New York Islanders hope to continue their offensive surge when they visit the Metropolitan Division-rival Washington Capitals on Thursday. New York has scored six goals in each of its last two games - both victories - and netted at least four per contest while going 4-1-0 over its last six.
Captain John Tavares has been a major contributor, collecting nine goals and three assists while registering a pair of hat tricks and four multi-point performances over his last five games. Washington returns home after a 1-2-0 Western Canada trip that concluded Sunday with a 2-1 loss at Calgary. Jakub Vrana scored the lone goal in the setback for the Capitals, who have dropped three straight at home and seven of 10 overall (3-6-1) since opening the season with back-to-back triumphs. Captain Alex Ovechkin leads Washington with 10 tallies but has scored just once in his last seven games after netting nine goals over his first five contests.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, MSG Plus (New York), NBCSN Washington
ABOUT THE ISLANDERS (7-4-1): Tavares is not the only member of the team wielding a hot stick, as two others carry impressive point streaks into Thursday’s contest. Josh Bailey notched three assists in Monday’s 6-3 victory over Vegas, giving him two goals and 10 assists during his seven-game run, while Anders Lee extended his streak to six contests (four goals, six assists) by setting up a pair of tallies. Bailey has recorded an assist in six straight games, which is three shy of matching the franchise record.
ABOUT THE CAPITALS (5-6-1): While Ovechkin continues to struggle, it appears Evgeny Kuznetsov finally has rediscovered his scoring touch. The 25-year-old Russian, who fell one tally shy of his second straight 20-goal campaign in 2016-17, has netted three in as many games following a season-opening nine-game drought. Washington’s losing record in October ended its streak of 24 consecutive months in which it finished .500 or better.
1. The Islanders posted their highest total of wins in October since registering nine in 2001.
2. Washington G Philipp Grubauer has played nearly 214 consecutive minutes since last owning a lead in his season debut on Oct. 9 versus Tampa Bay.
3. New York has recorded five of its seven power-play goals on the season in its last two games but has allowed a whopping six short-handed tallies over its first 12 contests.
PREDICTION: Capitals 4, Islanders 2