The Washington Capitals beat the New Jersey Devils 5-2 Saturday night at Capital One Arena. The Capitals would jump out to a quick lead with two goals in the first 12 minutes of the game, and never look back. The Capitals return to action Tuesday Night when they visit the Carolina Hurricanes in Raleigh. Puck drop is 7:00 PM.
Braden Holtby (21-8-0, 2.66 GAA, .918 sv%) started between the pipes for the Capitals. Cory Schneider (17-6-0, 2.54 GAA, .921 sv%) got the start in goal for the Devils. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:
Andre Burakovsky and Madison Bowey were the healthy scratches.
The Capitals would waste very little time in getting the party started. Christian Djoos found Tom Wilson on the end of a nifty dangle and drive by Djoos at 2:26 of the opening frame. This was Wilson’s 6th goal of the season.
Caps held a 6-1 shots advantage after 6:32 of play in the first. Christian Djoos would make it 2-0 on the end of a beautiful give-and-go with Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom at 11:09 of the first period.
The Devils would get on the scoreboard on the end of a nice cross-rink pass from Kelly Zajac to John Moore at 17:35 of the first period. Marcus Johanson was credited with the other helper.
The period would end with the Capitals leading 2-1. Shots on goal were tied 12-12 after 20 minutes of play. Faceoffs were also 50-50% for the opening frame.
The Capitals would stretch their lead to 3-1 with a power play goal from John Carlson at 7:01 of the middle frame.
The period would end with the Capitals leading 3-1. The Capitals led in shots on goal 10-7 for the second period and 22-19 through two periods of play. The Devils were 0 for 2 and the Capitals 1 for 1 on the man advantage after 40 minutes of play.
The Capitals would stretch their lead to 4-1 with another highlight reel play. Matt Niskanen would notch the Caps 4th tally on the end of passes from Alex Ovechkin and Devante Smith-Pelly at 4:25 of the final frame.
The Devils quickly responded with a goal by Kelly Zajac at the 9:00 mark of the third period. Marcus Johansson was credited with the lone assist, his second apple of the game.
— New Jersey Devils (@NJDevils) December 31, 2017
Nicklas Backstrom would add an empty net goal to make it 5-2 and the Capitals would hold on for the 5-2 win.
- Caps have won 8-straight on home ice.
- Christian Djoos scored the Capitals second goal of the game and recorded a primary assist to record his second career multi-point game. Djoos is tied for third among rookie defensemen in goals (3).
- Alex Ovechkin (0-3—3), Nicklas Backstrom (1-2—3) and John Carlson (1-2—3) each collected three points to help the Capitals leapfrog the Devils for first place in the Metropolitan Division.
- Alex Ovechkin recorded three assists to record his 494th career NHL assist- six shy of joining Nicklas Backstrom as the only 500-assist player in Caps franchise history.
- With a 5-2 win over the New Jersey Devils, Barry Trotz recorded his 737th career win and now ranks fifth all-time in NHL history.
- Tonight’s attendance was 18,506, the Capitals 384th consecutive sellout at Capital One Arena.
- NHL box score is here.
By Jon Sorensen
SCENES FROM THE DISTRICT