Devils Down Capitals 4-1 in First Preseason Tilt

The Washington Capitals fell to the New Jersey Devils 4-1 on Monday night at the Prudential Center in Trenton, New Jersey. The Capitals return to preseason action Wednesday night when they visit the Candiens at the Belle Centre in Montreal. Puck drop is 7PM. 

Braden Holtby got the start in net for the Capitals. Keith Kinkaid got the nod for the Devils. Both goalies were replaced midway through the second period.

A sloppy start to the festivities, with three penalties called in the first 1:20 of the game and another violation at the 2:39 mark, giving the Devils an early 5-on-3 advantage. However it would be the Capitals who would notch the first tally of the game on a short-handed goal by Nathan Walker at the 4:26 mark. Walker would gather a loose puck from Lars Eller in front of the net and drive it home for the 1-0 lead.

The call from John Walton:

The period would conclude with no further scoring. The Capitals led in shots on goal 12-10 for the opening frame. There was a total of 22 minutes of penalty time for the first period.

The Devils would levy the equalizer just 1:39 into the middle frame on a blast off the draw from the left circle by Mirco Mueller.

Both goalies would be replaced at the half-way point. The Capitals would replace Braden Holtby (faced 19 shots) with Vitek Vanecek at the 9:50 mark of the middle frame.

The Devils would grab the lead on the end of a 2-on-1 breakaway with Stefan Noesen beating Vanecek over the left shoulder at the 11:33 mark of the second period.


The Devils would make it 3-1 on a break away goal by Kyle Palmieri at 19:38 of the middle frame.

The Devils outshot the Caps 17-7 for the second period and led in shots on goal 28-19 through two periods of play. The Capitals were 0-2 and the Devils were 0-8 in power plays through two periods of play.

A rather uneventful third period. The Capitals had a 5-on-3 man advantage at the 12-minute mark but would be unable capitalize. The Devils number one draft pick Nico Hischier would stretch the Devils lead to 4-1 after stealing the puck from Kevin Elgestal in the Caps defensive zone and beating Vanecek glove-side at the 15:46 mark of the final frame.

And that would be the final.


  • Nathan Walker – excellent game speed and physicality. He was all over the ice and scored the game’s first goal. Walker had a goal, two shots, a takeaway and won a faceoff in the first period alone.
  • Aaron Ness – solid play, quick defensive zone exits and speed through the neutral zone. Good ice and player awareness through three periods. Certainly not enough to win a roster spot, but was the bright spot on the back-end for the Capitals in this game.

NHL game recap here:

Corsi 5v5

By Jon Sorensen


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Caps get their first taste of some hockey after 4 months, however they fall 4-1 in their preseason opener against the New Jersey Devils. Many penalties were drawn, from both sides, however this revealed how strong the Caps penalty kill was; They killed all 8 of the Devils' penalties. Many of the penalties were concentrated in the first period, but Caps found a way to crash the net and create multiple chances in that first twenty minutes. Nathan Walker scores the first goal of the night, and unfortunately the only goal for the Caps, short handed at 4:26 into the game. Caps enter the second with an one goal advantage, although that is stripped away in less than two minutes when Mirco Mueller ties it. Braden Holtby was starting goalie and played about half the game after saving 15/16 shots, then Vitek Vanecek enters the goal. About a minute after the switch (11:33), Devils take the lead from a Stefan Noesen snap shot. As the period was about to end, Kyle Palmieri gets a rush out of the penalty box and a lucky bounce, so he comes down to make it 3-1 in the final 22 seconds. Third period begins with Caps in a hole and they attempted to develop some more offense, but it was not effective as more penalties got in the way. Third period remained majorly even, except for when Nico Hicheir scores a final goal for the Devils to wrap up a 4-1 win with 4:14 remaining. Caps will continue their preseason in Montreal against the Canadiens on Wednesday at 7:00pm ET.

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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.
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8 Responses to Devils Down Capitals 4-1 in First Preseason Tilt

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  6. Loved Nathan Walker’s hustle on that goal

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