Capitals Destroy Devils, 6-3; Nicklas Backstrom Records Four Points

Photo: Andy Marlin/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals defeated the New Jersey Devils by a score of 6-3 at Prudential Center in Newark on Friday night. The Capitals extended their lead over the New York Islanders for first place in the Metropolitan Division to seven points, though the Islanders now have three games in hand on the Capitals. Goaltender Ilya Samsonov made 24 saves in the victory.Capitals’ Lines at Devils

Center Nic Dowd drew in the lineup in favor of center Travis Boyd. After their 3-0 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Monday, that was their lone lineup change not in the crease. Captain Alex Ovechkin and center Nicklas Backstrom skated in their 900th career NHL game together.

First Period

Forward Kyle Palmeri tapped in center Nico Hischier’s feed from the side past the left toe of Samsonov to make it 1-0 Devils on the power-play four minutes in.

Forward Carl Hagelin had a chance to tie it on a penalty shot but shot it over the crux of the arm and wide of goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood after getting tripped by defenseman Sami Vatanen on a breakaway 2:09 after the Devils opened the scoring.

Ovechkin ripped one from above the right circle after Backstrom threw the puck to him once he entered the offensive zone to tie it with 1:32 left in the period. The goal marked his league-leading 16th on the road this season.

Backstrom tipped a shot from defenseman John Carlson past Blackwood, who couldn’t see the shot with traffic in front, while cruising through the slot to make it 2-1 Capitals 70 seconds later.

The Capitals led 11-6 in shots and had three giveaways while the Devils had four through 20 minutes.

The Devils led 8-5 in hits, 8-3 in blocked shots, went 1-for-2 on the power-play, and won 58% of the draws in the first.

Each team recorded two takeaways in the opening frame.

Second Period

Forward Blake Coleman tucked the puck past Samsonov on a breakaway while Backstrom was chasing him down but couldn’t catch him to tie it 4:15 into the second.

Backstrom tipped in his second of the game after defenseman Dmitry Orlov faked a shot and found him all alone in front at the doorstep to give the Capitals the lead with 29 seconds left in the period.

The Capitals led 23-17 in shots, including 12-11 in the second, and had six giveaways while the Devils had nine after two after two. They went 0-for-1 on the power-play in the first two periods.

The Devils led 13-6 in blocked shots, 14-7 in hits, won 58% of the draws, and went 1-for-3 on the man advantage through 40 minutes.

Each team posted two takeaways through two.

Third Period

Carlson redirected defenseman Michal Kempny’s pass from the corner in front and through Blackwood’s five hole to double the Capitals’ lead 42 seconds into the period. Backstrom earned his fourth point of the night and the 900th of his career with the secondary assist. He’s the first from the 2006 NHL Draft class to hit that mark.

Defenseman Jonas Seigenthaler wristed one past Blackwood’s glove from the point after getting a cross-ice feed from defenseman Radko Gudas to make it 5-2 6:53 in.

Capitals defenseman Nick Jensen tumbled down to the ice immediately after dropping the gloves with Devils forward Miles Wood with 6:53 left.

Forward Richard Panik sneaked one through Blackwood’s five-hole after he hesitated for a moment once he got the puck from Carlson at the right dot to make it 6-2 with 4:27 to go.

Wood tucked in defenseman Damon Severson’s pass from the slot at the side of the goal to make it 6-3 with under 30 seconds left.

The Capitals led 29-27 in shots and had only eight giveaways while the Devils had 12. They went 0-for-1 on the power-play.

The Devils led 10-6 in third-period shots, 14-10 in blocked shots, 16-13 in hits, and went 1-for-3 on the man advantage.

Each team posted six takeaways and won 50% of the draws.

The Capitals head home, where they will take on the Tampa Bay Lightning on Saturday night. Action from Capital One Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington locally or NHL Network nationally beginning at 7 PM ET.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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8 Responses to Capitals Destroy Devils, 6-3; Nicklas Backstrom Records Four Points

  1. Day One Caps Fan says:

    I’ll take this UGLY victory from the Caps. Slow sleepy start, Caps hadn’t scored in a LONG time going back 2 games. Gave up a miserable PP goal and a bum-rush through Sammy. But nice of NJD to be REALLY bad late in this game. It was the Ovi and Backy variety hour!

    Richard Panik got one, finally. Poor fellow! I think he’s playing hard and skating hard, but finding ways to be ineffective. Hope he figures it out — he’s expensive!

    VERY enjoyable to see #3 D Jensen take on a fight with a much larger man. Jensen gets a bad rap. I’m delighted we have him instead of the hapless #22. Caps D is a strong point. The 2nd and 3rd forward lines should play as inspired.

    When will Caps have a game where everybody plays well? Caps will have to be better from top to bottom to beat TBL tomorrow.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    T Boyd should ask for a trade… NJ and RP ? Should have kept Brett C n MB

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