One of the few 2015 NHL playoff matchups that didn’t require the final day of the regular season to be set features the Washington Capitals and New York Islanders. Caps fans are much more familiar with the Rangers given their numerous playoff battles since 2009, but this time around they drew the Islanders.
This is the first time these two organizations have played in the postseason since 1993, and it should be a barn burner chock full of All-Star talent and household names. John Tavares has been one of the NHL’s most prolific point producers this season. Heading into the final contest of the regular campaign, the 24-year-old ranks fourth in the league in goals scored and first in points. That could change as the last few teams finish up, but the fact remains that the Isles’ captain has been excellent all year.
He’s not the only high-end finisher in this series though. Alex Ovechkin ran away with the Rocket Richard Trophy and will be the only 50-goal scorer in 2014-15. Steven Stamkos has one game left to play for the Tampa Bay Lightning. If he doesn’t find the back of the net at least once, Ovechkin will have secured the scoring title with a 10-goal lead.
Start feeling bad for both goaltenders in this series now, because we have two high-octane offenses going head-to-head for the right to advance to the second round. Let’s break the teams down piece by piece to see how they stack up.