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Game Day - Islanders @ Capitals

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[AP Preview - WashingtonCaps.com Preview]

And down the stretch they come...

After a good-for-the-team/bad-for-the-bloggers stretch of two games in ten days, the Caps now will play every other day until the season ends - a half dozen games against teams whose combined record currently stands at 155-172-51, and not a one of which has won more games than they've lost this season.

Tonight's opponents, the New York Islanders, are the League's worst team, and would have to get hot to finish 29th overall (though they have shown signs of life lately, going 1-0-1 against the Wings and Flyers last weekend). The Isles have lost four of their last five and have the NHL's worst road record and enter Wednesday's game as the only team in the League without double-digit wins away from home. Ouch.

They're also a team against whom the Caps are looking to close out a season sweep, having won the first three meetings by a combined score of 12-7. Alex Ovechkin has led the way (shocking, I know), with five of those goals (including two overtime game-winners) and a pair of assists.

More important than the past, however, is the immediate future. A quick peek at the standings shows that the Caps, as Vogs points out, control their own destiny with regards to second place in the Conference, and that not only matters with respect to home ice advantage in the second round, but also likely means a more favorable first round match-up.

Six games left.

It's time, boys. Flip the switch.