The Capitals return to Verizon Center Tuesday night for their only home game in a stretch of eight games. Coming off a successful four-game road trip in which Washington captured six of a possible eight points and with another three road games in four nights looming Saturday, Coach Adam Oates knows the Capitals must guard against a let-down against the Islanders.
“When you go on the road there’s kind of a little bit of an us-against-them mentality. You get on a little roll. And you’re out there for a long time. And you come home, back in your familiar surroundings, see your family, friends,” Oates said. “Yesterday everybody was tired. We were tired. The players were tired and all of the sudden you got to jack up and find that intensity again.”
While New York has a tendency to be overlooked, it’s playing for its postseason hopes just like the Capitals. The two teams enter tonight’s game both with 31 points in 32 games played and after making up so much ground on last week’s trip, Washington doesn’t want to slide backwards with a loss to the Islanders.
“We can’t take them lightly. We did a good job on the trip, but it’s not over,” Oates said. “You got to find a way to get that intensity right from the start.”
Faceoff: 7 p.m. Verizon Center | TV: CSN | Radio: 106.7
Discuss the game in the comment section below and based on warmups here’s what the lineup should look like:
Goal: Holtby, Neuvirth.
Scratches: Eric Fehr (upper-body), Aaron Volpatti and Jeff Schultz
IR: John Erskine (left hand/wrist),Tomas Kundratek (sprained right MCL), and Tom Poti (back).