Washington Capitals (37-18-5) vs New Jersey Devils (23-17-10)
|Predicted Goaltender||Record||GAA / SV% / # SO|
|Washington Capitals||Ilya Samsonov||16-4-1||2.38 / .917 / 1|
|New Jersey Devils||MacKenzie Blackwood||19-12-7||2.79 / .913 / 3|
The Washington Capitals are taking a short day-trip to Newark, New Jersey to take on the Devils on the first night of a back-to-back. The Devils are currently last in the Metropolitan division, though they have won five of their last 10 games, and picked up points in two of the five losses. The Capitals defeated the Devils by a score of 5-2 the last time these two teams met, back on January 18th.
The Washington Capitals lost (sounds familiar, eh?) to the Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night, 3-4 in overtime. Washington’s newest addition, Brenden Dillon, made his debut on the top defensive pair with John Carlson, and his performance was impressive. Brendan Leipsic was the healthy scratch, as was Jonas Siegenthaler, and Travis Boyd filled in on the 4LW spot. Alex Ovechkins’ quest for 700 continued, and he got that much closer as he scored goal number 699 at the 7:29 mark of the first period. His 41st goal of the season puts him within two of Auston Matthews and David Pastrnak (43). Shea Weber, who was awarded the title of ‘Hardest Shot’ at this years’ All Star weekend, tied the game with just under two minute remaining in the first. Lars Eller broke the tie with his 15th of the season at the 17:02 mark of the second, but just over a minute later, Brendan Gallagher tied it up at two a-piece. Ben Chiarot gave Montreal their first lead of the night 30 seconds into the third period. By now, Caps and Habs fans alike believed the game was over, but Washington had other plans. With the goaltender pulled, and 21 seconds remaining, Tom Wilson scored the game-tying goal to give the Capitals a chance to earn at least one point. Ben Chiarots’ second goal of the game would end up being the game-winner in overtime to win it for Montreal. The win ended a five-game losing streak for the Canadiens, and extended Washingtons’ to two. Both teams received one power play each, but neither converted. Braden Holtby made 28 saves on 32 shots and dropped his third game in four starts. Ilya Samsonov will get the start for Washington versus the Devils.
The New Jersey Devils defeated the San Jose Sharks 2-1, also on Thursday. The Devils have five wins in their last 10 games, but are currently last in the Metro. Tim Heed got the Sharks on the board first with his first goal of the season at the 7:22 mark of the first period. Jesper Bratt tied it for the Devils late in the 2nd period with his 12th of the season. Just short of the three-minute mark of the third period, PK Subban scored the eventual-game winner. Subban’s name has floated around the trade rumor mill (yes, again), as the defenseman has seemingly struggled to find his place. The Devils did trade Blake Coleman to the Tampa Bay Lightning for a first round pick and a prospect, and Andy Greene to the Islanders. Kyle Palmieri leads the team with 22 goals and 41 points. The Sharks out-shot the Devils 37 to 25, but MacKenzie Blackwood allowed just one goal on 37 shots. Blackwood is expected to get the start for the Devils.
The New Jersey Devils are without Sami Vantanen (DL, undisclosed), Miles Wood (OUT, illness), and Will Butcher (OUT, upper body). The Devils placed goaltender Louis Domingue on waivers on Thursday. Brendan Leipsic is back in the lineup, Jonas Siegenthaler also returns to the lineup, and Radko Gudas and Travis Boyd are the healthy scratches.
Coverage of the game begins at 12:00pm with Caps Faceoff Live, followed by Caps Pregame Live at 12:30pm, all on NBCSN/NBCSWA, with puck drop shortly after 1:00pm.
TheScore. (2020). New Jersey Devils News & Stats. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/6.
TheScore. (2020). Washington Capitals News & Stats. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/15.