Nick Wass/Associated Press
With the Capitals set to take on the New Jersey Devils in the two teams’ first meeting since their preseason matchup on September 27, NoVa Caps is taking a look at several of the Capitals’ players’ individual numbers versus their Eastern Conference opponent.
This will be the Capitals’ 207th all-time game played against New Jersey, and in their first 206 games played against the Devils, the Capitals have a record of 105-74-13-14 record (including ties) for a .575 win percentage, with 674 goals for and 583 goals against.
Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin has played in 45 games against the Devils, and has averaged well over a point per game, having scored 21 goals and recording 26 assists, with a plus-23 rating and averaging 21:04 of ice time. Just two of his 21 goals have come on the power play, and two have been game-winners. His 165 shots against the Devils are the 14th-most against any team in his 12-year career. Center Lars Eller, meanwhile, has 11 points (seven goals, four assists) in 24 games played against the Devils in his career, averaging nearly 15:00 minutes (14:57) per game, and a plus-1 rating. His 11 goals against New Jersey are tied for his third-most goals against any opponent with three other teams.
Defenseman John Carlson has been quite productive against the Devils as well, scoring three goals and adding 13 assists for 16 points in 27 games played, with a plus-11 rating. He has averaged 23:24 of ice time per game and his 631:45 minutes played against New jersey is the sixth-most of his career against any team. Fellow defenseman Matt Niskanen has had relative success against the Devils as well, recording 15 points in 32 games played, while averaging 20:48 of ice time.
The Capitals’ goaltenders have been just as productive against the Devils, as starter Braden Holtby has an impressive 12-3-2 record in 17 games played against New Jersey, with a 1.81 goals-against average, .931 save percentage, and four shutouts. He has allowed 31 goals, with only seven coming on the power play, two shorthanded, and the rest while the Devils were at even-strength. His 1.81 goals-against average is the sixth-lowest of his career against any other team, and his .931 save percentage is tied for the eighth-highest against any other opponent. Backup Philipp Grubauer has only played in one game against the Devils, but has a 1-0-0 record, with a 2.00 goals-against average, with a .913 save percentage.
Coming off back-to-back losses against the Tampa Bay Lightning and Pittsburgh Penguins, the Capitals are hoping that they will be able to get back into the win column against New Jersey. Contributions from the above players (excluding Grubauer) will be needed if that is to happen.
By Michael Fleetwood