Top 3 keys to victory for the Capitals against Islanders

3 keys the Washington Capitals can defeat the New York Islanders

Connor McMichael, Washington Capitals
Connor McMichael, Washington Capitals / Thomas Salus-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals take on the New York Islanders tonight at 7:30 p.m. on Monumental Sports Network 2. While we won't see the Caps debuts of Max Pacioretty and Ethan Bear, we could possibly see them tomorrow.

Charlie Lindgren will get the start tonight in goal, Spencer Carbery confirmed to the media after morning skate. The only other change to the lineup is that Matthew Phillips will be in for Ivan Miroshnichenko. Yesterday at practice Connor McMichael centered the top line.

Here are the top 3 keys to a Capitals victory:

#3 Continue the success against Isles: Since losing their first meeting 3-0 to the Islanders on Nov. 2 in the wake of the Nicklas Backstrom news, the Capitals have won two straight against the Islanders. That included a win last week on Wednesday Dec. 20 where Dylan Strome scored the game winning goal 1:41 into overtime to give the Caps a 3-2 win.

It also includes a 4-1 win on Nov. 11 where the Caps scored three unaswered goals. The Caps tend to get up for Metropolitan Division games and they head into tonight's game having won three straight games at the Islanders new UBS Arena. The Caps are 9-3-1 against the division this season.

#2 Power play pickup: While the Caps power play started out as the worst in the league, it has gotten better of late. The Caps have scored eight power play goals in their last 13 games. That is eight of 38 power play opportunities which is 21.1 percent since Nov. 30, including two four on three power play goals in overtime on Dec. 20 against the Islanders and Dec. 21 at the Columbus Blue Jackets.

#1 Keep stacking points: While the Caps have won some and lost some lately they have been stacking up the points. They have earned at least one point in eight of their last 10 games, posting a 5-2-3 record. Since Oct. 25, the Capitals are 16-7-4 in their last 27 games.