With at least one point in each of his six playoff game appearances, Anthony Beauvillier has played a big role in lifting the New York Islanders to a 2-0 series lead over the Washington Capitals.
Photo by @nypost (Twitter).
- Sporting a 2-0 series lead, the New York islanders are now perched as heavy -400 favorites to eliminate the Washington Capitals in the NHL playoffs series prices
- The Islanders have dominated at both ends of the ice, outscoring Washington by a 9-4 overall margin in the first two games of the series
- We’ve got you covered with all the odds and storylines for this Eastern Conference first round matchup
After recording a pair of dominating victories to open their Eastern Conference opening round series with Washington, the New York Islanders have now vaulted to heavy -400 favorites to eventually knock off the Capitals and advance to the second round of the NHL playoffs for the third time in as many postseason appearances.
New York Islanders vs Washington Capitals – Playoff Series Prices
|New York Islanders||-400|
*Odds taken on 08/15/2020.
Islanders Don’t Look Back After Game 1 Rally
Pegged as lengthy +150 underdogs in the NHL playoff series prices ahead of Game 1, the Islanders needed a late-game rally to overcome a 2-0 deficit, and haven’t looked back. New York carried that momentum over into Game 2, responding to an early marker from Alexander Ovechkin with three goals in the middle frame to quickly put the contest out of reach.
With Friday’s win, the Islanders extended their recent dominance over Washington that has produced wins in four of five meetings since New Year’s Eve. That run has been marked by impressive offensive output from this typically defensive-minded New York squad, which has averaged 4.40 goals per game during that stretch. But can the Islanders continue to maintain such a torrid offensive pace against the five-time Metropolitan Division champions?
Beavillier Leading Isles Attack
If Anthony Beauvillier has anything to say about it, the answer is probably yes. Beauvillier has emerged as a steady offensive threat in this postseason, recording at least one point in all six New York outings, and seven points in total. With the club also getting solid contributions from Brock Nelson, Josh Bailey, and Jean-Gabriel Pageau, they have outscored their opponents by a wide 14-5 margin over their past three contests. And they show no signs of slowing down.
This is next-level hustle and foresight from Anthony Beauvillier. #StanleyCup pic.twitter.com/XemP901rEx
— #StanleyCup Playoffs on NBC (@NHLonNBCSports) August 5, 2020
That doesn’t mean that Islanders coach Barry Trotz has abandoned the highly structured, stifling defensive style that worked so well for him while leading the Capitals to a Stanley Cup victory two years ago. Indeed, it has been an adherence to that style that has enabled the Islanders to steadily wear down the veteran Capitals, and create opportunities they have not wasted.
With approximately 86% of teams that take a 2-0 lead in an NHL best-of-seven matchup going on to win the series, history now sits squarely on the Islanders’ side. And that advantage is further enhanced by the major struggles the Capitals have faced since returning to action after a long layoff.
Capitals Struggling at Both Ends of the Ice
The Capitals already faced a challenge to turn things around after ending the abbreviated NHL regular season on a shaky 7-10-2 run. The late-season slide further complicated what had been a disappointing season for goaltender Braden Holtby, who is set to hit the free agent market at the end of these playoffs. Of equal concern was a drop in offensive production, with Capitals shooters tallying just 2.58 goals per game over their final 12 outings.
John Carlson and Braden Holtby talk to the media after a Game 2 loss against the New York Islanders pic.twitter.com/UoksFjsQ7j
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) August 15, 2020
The lengthy layoff has done little to remedy those concerns for the Capitals, who now lag as distant +305 underdogs in the series prices. With promising young goaltender Ilya Samsonov suffering a season-ending injury during the pause in the season, Holtby has carried the load in the crease, with disappointing results. After surrendering eight goals in the first two dates with the Islanders, Holtby now sports a dismal .862 save percentage in the series, and has surrendered four goals in three of his past four meetings with New York.
Backstrom Injury Adds to Veteran Offensive Woes
Further complicating matters is the loss of veteran center Nicklas Backstrom to injury. Already battling injury woes coming into the postseason, Backstom’s status is now up in the air after taking a head shot from Anders Lee that has put him into concussion protocol. The loss of the 32-year-old is particularly hard considering his recent production against New York, scoring two goals and adding 10 assists in nine dates with the Islanders prior to the postseason.
While Alex Ovechkin picked up a pair of goals in Game 2, he is enduring yet another disappointing playoffs. TJ Oshie leads the team with three goals, and is the only other Capitals shooter to score more than once so far this month.
Of course, all is not lost. The Capitals overcame a 2-0 series deficit to knock off the Columbus Blue jackets in the first round two years ago, and overcame a 2-1 series deficit to get past the Islanders in seven games in a 2015 first round clash. However, with the Islanders now taking direction from the man that led Washington to glory two years ago, and the team’s veteran core showing clear signs of slowing down, there is little value in wager on a miraculous comeback by the Capitals this time around.
Pick: Islanders to win series (-400)
Daniel has been writing about sports and sports betting for over 23 years. The seasoned pro has contributed to the likes of Sports Illustrated, Sportsnet, NESN, Bleacher Report, OddsShark, the Globe and Mail, and The Nation magazine.