New Jersey Devils (2-1-0 4pts) vs Washington Capitals (3-0-1 7pts)
Tonight’s matchup features Metropolitan division rivals in the New Jersey Devils and the Washington Capitals. This is the first of three meetings between these two teams and the only game played at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. The first period saw the Capitals dictate most of the play as they led with a 13-8 shot advantage but most importantly came out of the period with a 2-0 lead. Washington got their first goal from Anthony Mantha who put the puck in the back of the net on his backhand as Daniel Sprong sent a pass his way to beat Devils goalie Scott Wedgewood. Moments later, Dmitri Orlov saw a rebound come his way off of an Alex Ovechkin shot and shot the puck on his backhand to beat the goalie to extend the Capitals lead. After the first period, the Washington Capitals would lead the New Jersey Devils 2-0.
Washington added to their lead in the second period as Daniel Strong took advantage of a Dougie Hamilton misplay at the blue-line, and took the puck in on a breakaway to beat Devils goalie Scott Wedgewood five hole to make the score 3-0 in favor of the Capitals. Sprong’s breakaway goal would be the only one of the period as the Capitals stifled the Devils offense with a good forecheck and a tight neutral zone. Shots were even at 7-7 but New Jersey just couldn’t get anything going offensively. The Capitals would lead 3-0 after two periods of play.
Evgeny Kuznetsov continued his early hot start to the season for Washington by adding his third goal of the season at almost the mid-way point of the third period. Tom Wilson caused a turnover near the goal line and fed the puck to the front of the net where Kuznetsov buried it to extend the Capitals lead to 4-0. However, New Jersey spoiled Vitek Vanacek’s shutout bid for Washington as Janne Kuokkanen scored his first goal of the season on the power play to make it a 4-1 game. Unfortunately for New Jersey, they would fall to the Capitals by that same score of 4-1. The Devils have a chance to redeem themselves against the Buffalo Sabres at home on Saturday night.
New Jersey Devils
Next up: New Jersey Devils vs Buffalo Sabres, Saturday 10/23/21 @ 7pm EST