At this late stage of the NHL season, the focus for the teams still in the playoff hunt is not just about getting in, but also about securing the best playoff ranking possible. One of the best ways to secure a really good playoff seeding is to win the division, and the good news for those in the playoff hunt is that a couple of those divisions are still wide open. While Tampa Bay and Calgary are beginning to look as though they are going to win their respective divisions, the other two are still up for grabs. One of those divisions is the Metropolitan, where any one of 5 teams could still realistically take the top spot.
The divisional match-ups that are coming before the end of the season will ultimately decide who lands on top, and that all begins on Friday night when the Washington Capitals, who currently sit in second, will go on the road to face the division-leading New York Islanders in a critical divisional match-up. The Islanders are favored by 1 ½, with the goal total for this one set at 6.
Capitals vs Islanders NHL Betting Lines & Game Info
- When: Friday, March 1 at 7 PM EST
- Where: Nassau Coliseum, New York
- TV: ESPN+
- Live Stream: WatchESPN
- NHL Betting Lines: Washington Capitals -130 (Total 6)
Why bet on the Washington Capitals?
The Capitals spent some time at the top of the Metropolitan Division this season before giving way to the surging New York Islanders. They have found their way back, though, and after going 6-3-1 in their last 10 games, they are back within 2 points of the lead, with an opportunity to close that gap completely with a win on Friday night. The Capitals have now won back to back games and have improved their road record to an impressive 17-12-2 this season.
The defending Stanley Cup champions may not be as dominant as they were last season, but they are looking as though they might be ready to finish the season strong. One the road this year, the Capitals have gone 15-15 ATS, but they are 8-6-1 ATS overall as an underdog.
- Goals: 3.44
- Shots: 30.08
- PP/PK Percentage: 22.16
- Goals: 3.20
- Shots: 32.42
- PP/PK Percentage: 21.86
Why bet on the New York Islanders?
The Islanders somewhat came out of nowhere to surge their way to the top of the division, and they did so largely based on their performance on home ice, where they are 19-8-4. They have the exact same record as the Capitals over the last 10 games, going 6-3-1 during that stretch.
This is a team that does not score a lot of goals, but when it comes to defensive hockey, they are the very best in the league, surrendering just 2.30 GPG, which is all the more impressive when you consider that they are in the middle of the pack in penalty killing. They are coming into this one off one of their best offensive showings of the season, a 6-1 win over Toronto. At home this season, the Islanders have gone 18-13 ATS.
- Goals: 2.94
- Shots: 28.35
- PP/PK Percentage: 16.39
- Goals: 2.38
- Shots: 30.83
- PP/PK Percentage: 20.00
Capitals vs Islanders NHL Betting Trends
- Washington is 2-7 ATS in its last 9 games on the road
- Washington is 3-6 SU in its last 9 games on the road
- The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Washington’s last 6 games on the road
- NY is 6-3 ATS in its last 9 games at home
- NY is 5-1 SU in its last 6 games at home
- The total has gone OVER in 4 of NY Islanders’s last 6 games at home
Expert Pick and Final Score Prediction
The Islanders won the last meeting with the Capitals, but the season series has been split, with the road team winning on both occasions. I think that trend might change on Friday night, as I like the Islanders to win, with the total going UNDER.
Score: Washington Capitals 2 – New York Islanders 3