Capitals face off against former coach Barry Trotz, Islanders

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The Washington Capitals are welcoming Barry Trotz and the Islanders to town for the first time since Trotz celebrated the Capitals’ first-ever Stanley Cup Championship with the team.

Trotz’s return will be commemorated by a video tribute before the puck drops at Capital One Arena at 7:30 and will certainly be an emotional start to a high stakes game.

The Islanders (27-15-4) and the Capitals (27-14-5) have a near identical record, and Trotz is already being considered for the Jack Adams Award as coach of the year while the Caps are experiencing what seems to be a delayed Cup hangover, having lost three straight.

Islanders at Capitals
Friday, Jan. 18 at 7:30 p.m.
How to watch: NBCSW, MyTeams

What to Watch For:

  1. Braden Holtby will start in net tonight for the first time since last week’s scary eye injury after taking a stick to the eye in the Caps’ 2-1 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets last Saturday. It will be interesting to see how he bounces back after missing two starts.
  2. Can the Caps get back in their groove? A 7-2 loss to the Nashville Predators Tuesday was an embarrassing display and led to a lot of conversations on whether or not the Capitals were experiencing a delayed Cup hangover. A visit from Barry Trotz is a golden opportunity for the Capitals to show their former coach that they can bounce back to their former strong start.

  1. Power play woes: The Caps’ power play has gotten better, but could still use a lot of work. Similarly, the Islanders could also use a lot of work. Their power play is ranked 24 out of 29 teams in the NHL while the Capitals are ranked ninth.

Quote of the day:

“For him it’ll be a pretty emotional night,” Capitals forward Tom Wilson said to NBC Sports Washington. “We went through a lot, he was here for a long time, ups and downs, he was part of the community and I think he’s well respected by the community of D.C., so it will be a great moment for him and his family. He deserves it. He put in a lot of time and worked extremely hard to get this team to accomplish what we did last year. It will be good to see him again – and to take him down.”

Last time these teams met:

The Capitals beat the Islanders 4-1 on their home ice in November with Tom Wilson leading the win with two goals.

Stat to know:

Alex Ovechkin is still leading the league in goals with 33.


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