BROOKLYN, N.Y. -- The Capitals (29-7-3, 61 points) will look to win their second straight game tonight in Brooklyn when they face the New York Islanders (22-13-5, 49 points) art Barclays Center (6:30 p.m. pregame, CSN). Here are our AAA Keys to the Game:
Lineup shuffle: With center Zach Sill serving the first of his two-game suspension, look for Caps coach Barry Trotz to assemble a fourth line of left wing Brooks Laich, center Michael Latta and right wing Stan Galiev.
Holtby vs. Halak: Braden Holtby (25-4-2, 1.93 GAA, .932 SP) is expected to be in the nets for the Caps, while Jaroslav Halak (10-6-3, 2.09, .923) is set to return for the Isles after missing the past five games with a lower body injury. Holtby hasn't lost in regulation in his past 20 games (17-0-2).
Halak was the Caps’ No. 1 goalie down the stretch in 2013-14 but failed to get the Caps into the playoffs and was traded to the Islanders in the offseason.
Bitter rivals: The last time the Caps and Isles played a meaningful game was in the first round of last year’s playoffs when the Caps outlasted the Isles in seven very physical games. The Isles’ fourth line of Casey Cizikas, Cal Clutterbuck and Matt Martin hit everything that moved in that series, as did Tom Wilson, who has become vilified by Islanders fans and should hear an earful tonight at Barclays.
Isles change it up: After three months of taking game-day naps in hotel rooms for home games the Isles have returned to practicing in Syosset, N.Y.
"This allows you to spend more time at home, to feel like you are at home when we are playing at home,” Isles captain John Tavares said. “And I think mostly that's what it's about, to reduce some of the travel."
The Isles are 13-6-2 in their first season at Barclays.
Injury update: Caps defenseman John Carlson is expected to miss his sixth straight game with a lower body injury. That means Caps defenseman Aaron Ness is likely to face his old teammates.
Here are projected lineups for both teams:
Suspended: Zach Sill
Suspended: Zach Sill
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