Game Preview: Devils @ Capitals


The Capitals wrap-up the 2016 calendar year with a home-and-home series against the New Jersey Devils. The Devils and Caps square off for the first time this season, Thursday night at Verizon Center. Puck drop is 7:00 PM. The two teams will then travel north to Newark to wrap-up the calendar year Saturday afternoon at a Prudential Center.

The Devils fell to the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-2 at Prudential Center Tuesday night. The loss, coupled with the Islanders victory over the Capitals, dropped the Devils into the basement of the Metropolitan Division, at 13-15-7.

Adam Henrique, Michael Cammalleri and PA Parrenteau lead the Devils in goals this season with nine a piece. Travis Zajac (24) and Taylor Hall (23) lead the Devils in points through 35 games.

Cory Schnieder is expected to get the start for the Devils. Schneider has been less than his stellar self as of late, going 10-12-0-5 in 27 starts this season, with a 2.90 goals against average (GAA) and .904 save percentage.

[UPDATE: Thursday, 11:45 AM]: Keith Kincaid will get the start for New Jersey. Braden Holtby was confirmed as the starter for the Capitals.

The Devils are getting fairly healthy at this point in the season. However, Taylor Hall, lower body injury, is day-to-day (not related to knee surgery or mouth from last night) and will be out of the lineup tomorrow versus the Caps.


Shots Fired:
The Devils are currently last in the league in shot attempts per game, averaging 27.9 shots per game. The Devils are currently yielding the 7th most shot attempts to opponents at an average of 31.6 shots per game.

Special Teams:
The Devils are currently ranked 22nd in the league on the power play at a 15.7% conversion rate. The Devils penalty kill is fairing a bit better, currently 14th in the league at 81.9% success rate, for a combined special teams index of 97.6.

Following their season-high six game winning streak, the Capitals have lost three of their last four games. Thursday night’s tilt against the Devils will be the second game of a 12 games in three-week stretch for the Caps.

Special Teams:
captureThe Capitals power play cooled off in Brooklyn on Tuesday night, going 0 for 4 against the Islanders. The Caps power play is currently ranked 16th in the league at 18.3% conversion rate. The league mean average currently sits at 18.3% as well.

The Capitals penalty kill continues to sizzle, currently 6th in the league with an 85.3 success rate, for a combined special teams index of 103.6. The league’s mean average for penalty kill currently sits at 81.6%.

Shots Fired:
The Caps are currently 10th in the league in shot attempts per game at 30.4 shots per game. The Caps are yielding the sixth fewest shots per game with an average of  28.3 per game.

Other Notes:
Wednesday morning the Capitals re-assigned Zach Sanford to Hershey. The move was expected to occur following the expiration of the NHL roster freeze.

The projected lines for Thursday night’s tilt with the Devils:

[UPDATE: Thursday, 11:45 AM]: Jakub Vrana confirmed he would be sitting out tonight’s contest. Taylor Chorney looks to be the other healthy scratch.



Thursday nights game is the second game in a row against the Metropolitan cellar dwellers, as the Devils garnered that dubious distinction on Tuesday night. As a result, this is another “gotta have” game for the Capitals.

Series Flashback:


  • Capitals prospects Damien Riat (Switzerland), Ilya Samsonov (Russia) and Jonas Siegenthaler (Switzerland) are representing their countries at the 2017 IIHF World Junior Championship in Montreal and Toronto. NoVa Caps interview with Riat here:
  • The Devils Dads will join the team in Washington and stay with the club until Saturday’s New Year’s Eve tilt at Prudential Center.


POSTGAME NOTEBOOK: Isles 4, Caps 3 (Mike Vogel)
Game Notes vs. New Jersey, 12/28/16 (Capitals PR)

By Jon Sorensen

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
This entry was posted in News and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Game Preview: Devils @ Capitals

  1. Pingback: Capitals Daily News: Big Attendance at Optional Skate | NoVa Caps

Leave a Reply