New Jersey Devils (13-15-5 31pts) @
Washington Capitals (20-6-8 48pts)
Happy New Year hockey fans! This afternoon matinee matchup features the New Jersey Devils and the Washington Capitals. The Devils have won two in a row and are looking to extend it to three. Washington has also won their last two games as well. Let’s get to the action. Both teams trade some really good chances early on. It would be the Devils who would get on the board first as Yegor Sharngovich would pick up Jack Hughes’ rebound shot for the goal and his seventh of the season at the 7:15 mark. Slightly over a minute later, Damon Severson would get a beautiful cross ice pass from Dawson Mercer who would then wrist it past Caps goalie Ilya Samsonov on the far side for fourth goal of the year. New Jersey did a great job using their speed and keeping Washington scoreless for a while until the 19:13 mark. John Carlson would fire a dart that would beat Devils goalie MacKenzie Blackwood to get the Capitals within one goal. Carlson’s goal would be his eighth of the season. After the first period, the Devils would lead the Capitals 2-1.
It wouldn’t take the Devils long to jump on the scoreboard as they score twenty two seconds in as Nico Hischier tipped in a wrist shot from Damon Severson to make it 3-1 in favor of New Jersey. That would be Hischier’s fifth goal of the season. It would be the only one of the period as the Devils despite Dougie Hamilton exiting early due to injury, did a great job of defending the Capitals and keeping their high powered offense at bay. The Devils would take a 3-1 leading heading into the third period.
New Jersey was playing really well and was doing a great job until things started to unravel for the Devils. At the 13:22 mark, Nic Dowd batted in his own shot for his fifth of the year to get the game within one goal. Three minutes later Washington tied it up to a bad gaffe by goalie MacKenzie Blackwood who gave it away to Lars seller in front of the net who then fed it to Connor Sheary for the goal. This would force overtime between the two teams. Both teams traded chances but Nico Hischier would be the overtime hero as Jack Hughes set him up due to the Capitals failing to get out of their own zone and then wristed a shot to beat Ilya Samsonov to give New Jersey a victory by a final score of 4-3. The Devils extend their win streak to three games and hope to extend it to four on Tuesday night as they hit the road to take on the Boston Bruins.
New Jersey Devils
Next Up: New Jersey Devils @ Boston Bruins, Tuesday 1/4/22 7pm EST