Islanders Vs. Capitals: Caps Open Crucial Five-Game Homestand Against Isles

WASHINGTON, DC - JANUARY 17: Tomas Vokoun #29 of the Washington Capitals makes a save against Kyle Okposo #21 of the New York Islanders at the Verizon Center on January 17, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)

The Caps come home for a pivotal five-game homestand, which starts Tuesday against the Islanders.

With 20 games remaining, the Washington Capitals have little time to make a final push towards a playoff berth. A five-game homestand is welcomed considering the team's ineptitude on the road, but Tuesday at Verizon Center, the Caps will open said homestand against a team they have yet to defeat: the New York Islanders.

Monday's trade deadline has passed and Washington remains the same as General Manager George McPhee made no moves, ultimately deciding that the Caps as currently constructed is strong enough to make that push towards the playoffs; the Caps enter Tuesday's action in ninth place.

To get back into the playoff picture, Washington will have to defeat a New York team that has given it fits this season. In November, the Isles earned a 5-3 comeback win and shut out the Caps 3-0 in January. The Islanders are the only team in the Eastern Conference that the Caps have not beaten this season.

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