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Islanders Gm 45: First Meeting vs. Capitals, ‘We Have To Collect Points’

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New York Islanders

EAST MEADOW, NY— After snapping a four-game skid Saturday night with a 2-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens, the New York Islanders (23-18-3) host the Washington Capitals (23-16-6). Puck drop is slated for 7:30 PM at UBS Arena.

The Washington Capitals sit directly in front of the New York Islanders in the standings, with a three-point lead and one more game played. This is the first of four meetings this season.

“We haven’t seen them yet this year, but you know, we’ve seen a lot over the past year,” Islanders defenseman Ryan Pulock said. “We’ve been fighting for a spot and playoffs. [That’s] probably going continue throughout the year. So this matchup is really key for us.”

Islanders forward Mathew Barzal weighed in on the matchup.

“It’s huge. I mean, you look at the standing. We’re obviously in a battle with these guys and Pittsburgh and Buffalo, so yeah, it’s really huge. We’ll be ready.”

While this game may not be the “biggest game of the season,” Islanders head coach Lane Lambert knows the importance.

“There’s certainly an emphasis on every game. But I mean, as I said before, we have to collect points, and we know that, and so I think every game from here on in is going to be the biggest game of the year.”

MORNING SKATE UPDATES

Ilya Sorokin was in the starter’s crease and was first off, as he will make his 32nd start. It’s his fourth straight start as over his last five games, he’s 2-2-1, with a 1.99 GAA with a .932 SV% over that span.

Kyle Palmieri, Adam Pelech, and Ross Johnston were out early shooting on netminder Semyon Varlamov as those three will serve as the extras.

Pelech rotated in on defense, the most active he has been since sustaining his injury on Dec. 6.

For the Capitals side of things, via Sammi Silber of Washington Hockey Now:

After Dylan Strome sat out as a healthy scratch for Saturday’s 3-1 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers, he will draw back in, and it looks like Lars Eller will be the odd man out and be a healthy scratch for the first time this season and for the fir, per The Washington Post’s Samantha Pell.

LAMBERT PROVIDES INJURY UPDATES

Lambert on Adam Pelech: “Well, he’s getting closer. I like the fact that he joined the penalty kill.”

Lambert on Kyle Palmieri: “I do see progress with Palmieri. He’s getting closer, and once that decision is made, everybody will be comfortable with it, and we look forward to getting him back.”

NEW YORK ISLANDERS LINES (PROJECTED)

Anders Lee-Mathew Barzal-Simon Holmstrom
Anthony Beauvillier-Brock Nelson-Josh Bailey
Zach Parise-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Hudson Fasching
Matt Martin-Casey Cizikas-Cal Clutterbuck

Parker Wotherspoon-Ryan Pulock
Alexander Romanov-Noah Dobson
Sebastian Aho-Scott Mayfield

Ilya Sorokin
Semyon Varlamov

WASHINGTON CAPITALS LINES (PROJECTED)

ISLANDERS NOTES

Tonight, the New York Islanders host the Washington Capitals in the first of four matchups between the two clubs this season. The last time these teams met was Apr. 28, 2022, at UBS Arena, when five different Islanders found the back of the net and Mathew Barzal and Noah Dobson each recorded multi-assist games in a 5-1 Islander win.

The Islanders collected five points in their season series against Washington last year (2-1-1) and look to improve upon their 9-4-0 record against Metropolitan Division opponents tonight.

Tonight’s game is the Islanders’ fourth home matchup in the last seven days.

DRAFTKINGS BETTING CORNER

Do you think the New York Islanders will beat the Washington Capitals? You can get the Islanders at +100 & +245 on the puck line. The Capitals come in at -120 & -295 on the reverse puck line.

The over for the contest is 5.5 at -110, with the under at -110.

Head over to DraftKings to place your bets now!

HOW TO WATCH

Monday’s contest will be available on MSGSN. On the radio dial, the game can be heard on 1050 AM ESPN, 88.7 FM WRHU, and 103.9 FM LI News Radio.

Islanders Ilya Sorokin: New York’s New Jacob DeGrom

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