The Washington Capitals kick-off their 2017 preseason schedule this evening when they visit the Devils at the Prudential Center in Trenton, New Jersey. While many of the regulars for both teams will sit in order for teams to assess prospect talent, one familiar face is slated to start for the Devils.
Marcus Johansson, who was traded from the Capitals to the Devils on July 2 for financial reasons and a second and third round pick in next year’s draft, is slated to start for New Jersey.
In an interview with NorthJersey.com, “MoJo” admitted it will be strange to face the Capitals. “It might be a little weird, I think we’re playing them like three times in the first few weeks so, yeah, it’ll be a little weird but also cool. There will be a lot of adrenaline.”
Johansson also stated he thought it would help to play the Capitals more than once in the preseason. “When it’s actually a real NHL game, it’s full out,” Johansson said. “I think that’s going to be a little weird but it’s also probably going to help where you just focus on what you’re going to do.”
A full game preview can be found here. The complete rosters for tonight’s game.
In an interview with the Washington Times, Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom commented on the showdown with his good friend. “Yeah, it’ll be different,” Backstrom said. “He’s a good friend of mine and we’ve had some good years with the Caps, but we all know as hockey players that it’s part of the business. I mean, obviously, you didn’t want to see it happen, but it happened. I think he’s excited about this new challenge, too.”
Devils’ summer additions including Nico Hischier, Will Butcher and Mirco Mueller will also make their debut tonight for New Jersey. Hischier was the overall number one pick in this year’s Entry Draft. The Devil’s lines and defensive pairs can be found here.
Tyler Graovac, who the Capitals traded for in June, will be making his Capitals preseason debut tonight. Graovac played in 52 games for the Minnesota Wild last year, recording nine points (7g, 2a).
By Jon Sorensen