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Game Preview – Game 34: Washington Capitals @ Your New Jersey Devils!

New Jersey Devils vs Washington Capitals

Washington Capitals (17-14-1, 35 points)  vs New Jersey Devils (18-14-1, 37 points)
7:00 PM EST
TV: MSG+
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight will be the third of four matchups between the Devils and the Capitals. Most recently, they split a home-and-home on November 11 and 12, which saw the Capitals collect the win in New Jersey, and the Devils return the favor in Washington.

Devils Picking Up Play:

Despite being only four games over .500, the New Jersey Devils’ play recently has been picking up. Before their 4-1 loss Tuesday against division rivals, the New York Rangers, the Devils were on a season-high four game winning streak.

Looking at the standings, the Devils currently sit fourth in the Atlantic Division, but are still within striking distance of the teams above them. Currently the Devils are five points behind the Penguins, seven behind the Rangers, and nine behind the Flyers.  Not only are they within striking distance of division teams, but the Devils currently sit eighth in the Eastern Conference standings. A win tonight, could put them up as high as sixth. Also, their opponents tonight , the Washington Capitals, are only two points behind the Devils for eighth. A win tonight is key for both teams.

Tonight’s game at Prudential Center will be an important one for the Devils as they look to get back on the winning side of the standings. Despite having only won half of the games on their home ice, the Devils still have the best penalty kill in the league. And while their powerplay is good enough for 27th out of 30, the Devils might catch a break due to the Capitals having collected the least amount of points, in the East, while on the road.

Last Game Against Washington:

NJD @ WSH
Final Score: 3-2 SO

The Devils found themselves down 2-0 to end the first period, but goals from Petr Sykora and Ryan Carter tied the game up shortly before the end of the second period.

After a scoreless third period and overtime, the game went into a shootout. Zach Parise scored in the first round for the Devils, but the next skater for the Capitals was Alexander Ovechkin who got one past Johan Hedberg. The shootout remained tied until the fourth round when David Clarkson, of all people, scored the game winner.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise (C) – Henrique – Kovalchuk (A)
Sykora – Elias (A) – Zubrus

Tedenby - Zajac – Clarkson
Sestito – Carter – Janssen

Salvador – Foster
Volchenkov – Urbom
Taormina – Fayne

Brodeur
Hedberg

*Note: Adam Larsson has been granted permission to return to Sweden to attend his grandmother’s funeral. He is expected to miss tonight’s game as well as Monday’s game against Carolina.*
——————–
The Latest on the Washington Capitals:

It’s hard to imagine that the Capitals have gone 10-14-1 since they started the season at 7-0-0. A lot has changed since than including a coaching change. After firing Bruce Boudreau, the Capitals now have Dale Hunter behind the bench calling the shots.

In their last game, on Tuesday, the Capitals defeated the Nashville  Predators by a score of 4-1. After this win, the Capitals have won four out of their last six proving that the Capitals team looks to have their feet back under them. The bright side of this victory was that the Capitals big-three, Ovechkin, Backstrom, and Semin all had a goal in the game. Surprisingly, this was the first time this had happened since October 2010.

Injury wise, the Capitals are still missing Mike Green, who is still recovering from a groin injury suffered six weeks ago. Besides him, no impact players are missing from their lineup.

Also, it is being reported that the Capitals will be wearing their third jersey tonight at Prudential Center. These are the jerseys that the Capitals wore during the Winter Classic last season.

Projected Capitals Lineup: 

Ovechkin (C) – Laich – Brouwer
Johansson – Backstrom (A) – Semin
Chimera – Halpern – Ward
Hendricks – Perrault – Knuble (A)

Alzner – Carlson
Schultz – Wideman
Hamrlik – Orlov

Neuvirth
Vokoun

Follow the Devils Army Generals on Facebook and on Twitter for more in-depth coverage of Jersey’s Team.

Game Preview – Game 15: Your New Jersey Devils @ Alex Ovechkin

New Jersey Devils vs Washington Capitals


New Jersey Devils 
(7-6-1, 15 points) @ Washington Capitals (10-4-0, 20 points)
7:00 PM EST
TV: MSG Plus, NHL Network-US (subject to local blackouts)
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight is the second of a home-and-home series between the two clubs. Last night the Capitals beat the Devils 3-1 at Prudential Center. This will be the second of four meetings between the two teams.

Happy Birthday Adam Larsson:

Today, the Devils’ first round draft pick celebrates his 19th birthday.

Last night, Larsson got an early birthday gift as he scored his first career NHL goal to give the Devils a 1-0 lead in the first period. The Devils looked to have the momentum as they were pouring on great scoring chances and pressure.

However, the game slipped away as the Capitals tied it late in the second period and scored two goals in the third to give them the 3-1 win.

Devils Strong PK:

In their first eight home games of the year, the New Jersey Devils have not allowed a single powerplay goal. The team has been down a man 30 times while playing at Prudential Center.

Meanwhile on the road, the Devils are 18-22 (81.8%) on the PK.

Overall the Devils are second in the league with a 92.3% PK.

Against the Capitals:

All-time the Devils are 67-76-8-1 against the Capitals, and are 27-45-4-0 when playing in Washington.

Patrik Elias has the most points as a Devil, as an active player, against the Capitals with 46 points (18 goals, 28 assists) in 49 games played.

Kirk Muller has the most points of any Devil player against the Capitals with 51 points (20 goals, 31 assists).

Johan Hedberg is 7-4-2 in his career against the Capitals with one shutout and a 2.85 GAA.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise – Henrique – Palmieri
Sykora - Elias - Zubrus

Tedenby - Carter – Clarkson
Zharkov - Mills - Janssen

Greene – Larsson
Tallinder - Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador

Hedberg
Brodeur

——————–

Boudreau Close to Milestone:

After last night’s win against the Devils, Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau is sitting at 199 career wins. His current coaching record is 199-83-39. With an impressive record like that, Boudreau has a .681 career points percentage which is tied for the best in NHL history for a coach with at least 250 games of experience. 

Capitals Detour on Highway to Hell:

The Washington Capitals are 5-1-0 in their last six games against the Devils. The one loss came from a 5-0 Devils win last season. Despite that 5-0 win for the Devils, the Capitals have outscored the Devils 21-10 in that span. The Capitals believe they have the Devils’ number as they have collected the most wins and points over the Devils than any other franchise.

Projected Capitals Lineup:

Ovechkin – Johansson – Brouwer
Laich – Backstrom – Semin
Chimera – Eakin – Ward
Hendricks – Halpern – Knuble

Erskine – Wideman
Hamrlik – Carlson
Alzner – Schultz

Neuvirth
Vokoun


Follow the Devils Army Generals on Facebook and on Twitter for more in-depth coverage of Jersey’s Team.

Game Preview – Game 14: Washington Capitals @ YOUR NEW JERSEY DEVILS

New Jersey Devils vs Washington Capitals


Washington Capitals
(9-4-0, 18 points) @ New Jersey Devils (7-5-1, 15 points)
7:00 PM EST
TV: MSG Plus
Radio: WFAN 660 AM

Matchup:

Tonight marks the first of four games against the Washington Capitals this season, and the first of a home-and-home series against the Capitals as tomorrow night the two teams will meet in Washington, D.C.

Coming into Tonight:

After beating the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday night, the Devils have tied their season high three game winning streak. The win came off of the stick of rookie sensation Adam Henrique. In 10 games played this season, Henrique has four goals, three assists and is a +1. Henrique also has a four game point streak going into tonight’s game (four goals, two assists). Henrique now has the game winning goal in two straight games which makes him the Devils’ first rookie to complete the task since Patrik Elias did it back in November of 1997.

The Devils are currently 2-0 without Ilya Kovalchuk in the lineup this season. Kovalchuk pulled a muscle in his leg during last week’s 4-3 win over Philadelphia. Kovalchuk is not participating in this morning’s skate and will not play in tonight’s game or tomorrow’s game.

Player Moves:

Vladimir Zharkov was recalled from Albany (AHL) this morning. He is participating in the morning skate wearing his usual #18, and it looks like he will play in tonight’s game.

Eric Boulton was placed on Injured Reserve on Monday, retroactive to October 21. It was on October 21 that he hurt his hand during a fight with Doug Murray in a game against San Jose.

Against the Capitals:

All-time the Devils are 67-75-8-1 against the Capitals, and are 40-30-4-1 when playing in New Jersey.

Ilya Kovalchuk has the most career points against the Capitals with 52 points (24 goals, 28 assists) in 48 games played.

Patrik Elias has the most points as a Devil against the Capitals with 45 points (18 goals, 27 assists) in 48 games played.

Martin Brodeur has an outstanding 36-16-4 record against the Capitals with a 2.28 GAA and 6 shutouts.

Projected Devils Lineup:

Parise – Henrique – Palmieri
Sykora - Elias - Zubrus

Tedenby - Carter – Clarkson
Zharkov - Mills - Janssen

Greene – Larsson
Tallinder - Fayne
Volchenkov – Salvador

Brodeur
Hedberg

——————–

Capitals News:

The Capitals enter Prudential Center tonight on a two-game losing streak despite having scored the second-most goals per game (3.77) in the NHL. During their last four periods of play, the Capitals have been outscored by the Islanders and Stars 8-3. As a punishment of recent play, Capitals Head Coach Bruce Boudreau had the Capitals practice for two straight hours on Wednesday, including the dreaded bag skate. A bag skate is endless laps around the rink or sprints from line-to-line.

On the bright side, the Capitals look to have Mike Green back in the lineup tonight. Green injured his ankle six games ago, but participated in the infamous practice on Wednesday and practiced Thursday with his defensive partner, Roman Hamrlik.

Capitals against New Jersey Fun Facts:

New Jersey native John Carlson led the Capitals in points against the Devils last season, two goals and five assists in four games.

Alex Ovechkin ranks first in goals scored since the 2005-06 season with 307 goals. Second on that list is the Devils’ Ilya Kovalchuk with 263 goals.

Mike Knuble leads the Capitals in career points against New Jersey with 42 points (17 goals, 25 assists) in 61 games played.

Projected Capitals Lineup:

Ovechkin – Backstrom – Brouwer
Eakin – Johansson – Semin
Chimera – Laich – Ward
Hendricks – Halpern – Knuble

Alzner – Carlson
Hamrlik – Green
Schultz – Wideman

Neuvirth
Vokoun


Follow the Devils Army Generals on Facebook and on Twitter for more in-depth coverage of Jersey’s Team.

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