Washington Capitals (24-6-5) vs New Jersey Devils (11-17-5)
|Predicted Goaltender||Record||GAA / SV% / # SO|
|Washington Capitals||Ilya Samsonov||8-2-1||2.38 / .918 / 0|
|New Jersey Devils||MacKenzie Blackwood||9-9-4||2.85 / .908 / 1|
The Washington Capitals are looking to redeem themselves from their first shutout of the season as they face off against the New Jersey Devils. Washington defeated the Devils in a convincing 4-1 win back on March 19th, and since 2014, the Caps have won 16 of 19 meetings against New Jersey (mcubed).
On Monday, the Washington Capitals handed the Columbus Blue Jackets a second win over the league leaders, in just seven days. Another slow start and a 0/4 power play proved to be too costly for the Capitals. Columbus’ only wins in the month of November have come versus the Capitals, and one can only hope that Washington won’t have to face John Tortorella’s Blue Jackets in the post season. Prior to this meeting, the Capitals had not yet failed to score at least one goal through 35 games. Blue Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo tallied his second shutout of the season, and Oliver Bjorkstrand scored his 8th and 9th goals of the season. Braden Holtby had to be, and was, exceptional despite the loss, as he kept the game within reach for Washington for nearly the entire 60 minutes. Moments after Washington killed off Columbus’ first power play (Carlson, interference), Eric Robinson would score his 4th of the season, giving Columbus a 1-0 lead. Washington received their first power play (Cam Atkinson, high-sticking), but the Capitals only registered two shots on goal. They received a second opportunity with the man advantage at the 19:14 mark (David Savard, hooking), but again, failed to convert. The entirety of the second period was score-less, although Washington had some of their best looks in the middle frame. Columbus killed off two penalties (Wennberg, hooking)(Stenlund, holding the stick), and the Capitals kept the Blue Jackets off the board during their man-advantage (Vrana, holding). The Capitals actually out-shot the Blue Jackets 8-to-2, which was much improved over the first period stats. Just 32 seconds into the final frame, Oliver Bjorkstrand finally potted the puck past Holtby. In support of Korpisalo’s shutout bid, Bjorkstrand would score his 9th of the season at the 8:46 mark. His second of the night came off of a neutral zone turnover mixed in with a sloppy line change. With just over five minutes remaining, Caps’ head coach Todd Reirden elected to pull Braden Holtby in hopes of avoiding a shutout. While Washington did not end up scoring in this one, Tom Wilson and David Savard became involved with just over three minutes left, and both hit the showers early with matching penalties. Savard received an extra 10-minute misconduct penalty. Braden Holtby dropped just his 2nd loss in seven starts, and ended the night with a .857 save percentage. Ilya Samsonov is expected to start for the Caps on their first of this back-to-back.
The New Jersey Devils were last in action on Wednesday night, where they defeated the Anaheim Ducks, 3-1. With just their second win since November 28th, New Jersey is sitting in 30th (of 31) in the league, and are just 3-6-1 in their last 10. Although there isn’t much good to speak of when referring to the Devils, just the other day, Taylor Hall was traded from New Jersey to the Arizona Coyotes for ‘Nick Merkley, Kevin Bahl, Nate Schnarr, 2020 1st round pick, Conditional 2021 3rd round pick (can become a 1st or 2nd)’. Also, to the surprise of many, the Devils had won a second consecutive game for just the 4th time all season. Although Adam Henrique started the scoring, just three minutes and 33 seconds into the first, the Devils would rally back and then extend their lead to a score of 3-1. New Jersey received four power plays, two in the second period (Lindholm, interference)(Del Zotto, interference) a modified power play with just over a minute remaining in the middle frame (Fowler, hooking), and one in the third (Lindholm, holding) (TheScore, ANA @ NJD). Nico Hischier scored the game-tying goal just 88 seconds into the second period, his 6th of the season. Kyle Palmieri scored his 13th of the season, the eventual game-winning goal, 10 minutes later on the Devils’ power play. New Jerseys’ power play is ranked 30th (of 31), operating at just 12.8% efficiency (TheScore, New Jersey Devils). The Devils had not scored a power play goal since losing 6-4 to the Nashville Predators 13 days ago. That calculates out to just one power play goal in 13 opportunities. Sami Vatanen then improved the Devils’ lead by two, 60 seconds into the final frame, also on the power play. Kyle Palmieri impressively leads his team with five of his 12 goals coming on the power play. The Devils were out-shot 27 to 20, and despite being held to single-digit shots throughout the full 60 minutes, goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood tallied his 10th win of the season, and ended his night with a .963 save percentage. Blackwood is expected to start for the Devils.
The New Jersey Devils will be without the services of Louis Domingue (DL, lower body) and Matt Tennyson (DL, upper body).
Coverage of the game begins at 6:00pm with Caps Faceoff Live, followed by Caps Pregame Live at 6:30pm, all on NBCSN/NBCSWA, with puck drop shortly after 7:00pm.
Mcubed. (2019). NHL : Series records : Washington Capitals against New Jersey Devils. Retrieved from http://mcubed.net/nhl/wsh/nj.shtml.
TheScore. (2019). Anaheim Ducks at New Jersey Devils. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/events/22261.
TheScore. (2019). New Jersey Devils News & Stats. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/6
TheScore. (2019). Washington Capitals News & Stats. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/15.