Game 18 – New Jersey Devils at Washington Capitals
In an odd occurrence, the Devils will be facing the Capitals again in Washington this afternoon. This will be the third and final meeting between these two teams and the Devils have won both games so far. Each game ended 3-2 and Ilya Kovalchuk was the man to finish off each game. On Thursday, the Devils struggled early with penalties and it lead to both Washington goals, but the Capitals struggled late in the 3rd period and had a continuous party in the penalty box which eventually led to the game winning goal by Kovalchuk. Look for both teams to be a little more disciplined in this afternoon’s game.
New Jersey Devils
In the middle of the 2nd period, Patrik Elias was fed a pass from Adam Henrique to give the Devils their league leading fourth short-handed goal. It gave the Devils a bit of momentum, but that was quickly shut down when the Capitals took the lead 1:30 later.
Travis Zajac, yes that’s a name we haven’t heard mentioned recently, has had a drought this team really can’t afford. Zajac netted a goal in the first two Devils games of this season and then was pretty quiet up until last Friday when he scored against the Flyers. Many have been wondering where Zajac has been and hopefully he can get his act together and start scoring more frequently for this team.
For the Capitals, the power play has been there strong suit in what seems to be a pretty lackluster season for them. They currently rank third in the NHL at 26.8 percent and it’s no wonder they are after scoring two power play goals on Thursday night. However, they are still ranked last in the entire NHL at 5-10-1 for a total of just 11 points. Clearly hard times have fallen on Washington, but they are still dangerous with players like Alex Ovechkin (5G-5A), Troy Brouwer (7G- 4A) and team points leader Mike Ribeiro (6G-13A-19PTS). Plus Braden Holtby is clearly a goalie with a bright future ahead of him.
What to Watch For
Look for the Capitals to try and strike early after a loss on Thursday that left a bitter taste in their mouths. Look for the Devils to do what they do best: wait for them to make a mistake. Martin Brodeur will get the afternoon off today as Johan Hedberg will get the start between the pipes.