Caps hope to slow down Islanders

( – The Washington Capitals will try to slow down the red-
hot New York Islanders when the Metropolitan Division rivals meet Wednesday
night at Nassau Coliseum.

The Islanders have won four straight and nine of their last 10 games and enter
tonight’s home test tied with Pittsburgh for first place in the Metro. New
York swept a home-and-home series against the Penguins with wins on Friday and
Saturday, and followed with Tuesday’s shootout decision over Philadelphia.

New York earned a road shootout win over Pittsburgh on Friday and began a
three-game homestand with a 4-1 triumph over the Pens on the following night.
Tuesday’s 1-0 victory over the Flyers pushed the Isles to 6-1-0 within the
division and 9-3-0 against Eastern Conference opponents.

The Capitals will try to become only the second divisional opponent to beat
the Isles this season, following Pittsburgh’s 3-1 win over New York on Oct.
18. Washington has claimed four of the past five meetings with the Islanders
overall and has won nine of the last 11 matchups at the Coliseum.

Wednesday’s test is thes this season.

The Maple Leafs dropped a pair of home games to the Penguins earlier this
season and have lost four in a row to the club overall. Toronto also has lost
five of its past six in Pittsburgh.

The Pens aim to sweep the season series and earn a second straight victory
after beating the Boston Bruins 3-2 in overtime on Monday. Evgeni Malkin
netted his second goal of the game just 32 seconds into overtime.

Malkin skated to the top of the right circle and one-timed a cross-ice feed
from Sidney Crosby through the pads of Tuukka Rask for his second goal of the

Crosby assisted on both of Malkin’s goals and added a goal to move into a tie
for the NHL lead with 29 points. Malkin is fourth withsome great
chemistry when they’re out there 4-on-4, and they’re dangerous on the rush as
you saw,” said Pittsburgh head coach Mike Johnston.

Marc-Andre Fleury earned his 300th career win with a 27-save performance,
becoming the third-fastest goaltender to reach the milestone. He did so in 547
games, behind only Jacques Plante (521) and Andy Moog (543), and only Martin
Brodeur (29 years, 223 days) and Terry Sawchuck (29 years, 323 days) did so at
a younger age than Fleury (29 years, 361 days).

Fleury’s effort helped the Pens rebound after they were swept in a home-and-
home set by the New York Islanders. They won for the 11th time in 14 games

Fleury is 15-9-3 with a 3.10 goals against average and .892 save percentage in
29 career games versus the Leafs, including 26 starts.

Bernier has never beaten Pittsburgh, going 0-3-1 with a 3.48 GAA and .912 save
percentage in four meetings.