Washington At New Jersey Preview: Capitals Look For A Solid Night Against The Devils

Screen Shot 2020-02-21 at 5.14.45 PMPhoto: Ed Mulholland/USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Capitals are traveling to the Garden State for a Saturday matinee against the New Jersey Devils. It is the final of four meetings between the two Metropolitan Division foes. The Capitals have the season series lead (2-1), which includes a 6-3 victory on the road on December 20 and a 5-2 win at home on January 16. However, the Devils took the two points in a 5-1 win at Capital One Arena on January 11. Puck drop from Prudential Center is set for 1:00 P.M. ET on NBC Sports Washington.

Capitals

Standings: 37-17-6 (80 points) | second in the Metropolitan Division, fourth overall

Last Game: 4-3 overtime loss to the Montréal Canadiens at Capital One Arena on Thursday

Goal Leader:  Captain Alex Ovechkin (41)

Assist Leader: Defenseman John Carlson (55)

Point Leader: Defenseman John Carlson (70)

Starting Goaltender: Ilya Samsonov | 16-4-1 (2.38 GAA, .917 SV%, 1 SO)

Power-Play: 20.6% (14th overall) | Ovechkin leads with 12 power-play goals

Penalty Kill: 84% (4th overall) | Forward Tom Wilson leads with 77 penalty minutes

Essential Notes: The Capitals have lost five of their last six games and have gone 10-10-1 in their last 21 games. After the loss to Montréal, center Nicklas Backstrom told the media, “I’m not panicking, but at the same time you obviously feel the pressure.”

Saturday’s game is a critical one for the Capitals. Line and pairing shuffles occurred during Friday’s practice. The acquisition of defenseman Brenden Dillon from the San Jose Sharks is hoping to improve the struggling defense. Perhaps the changes will produce somewhat of a spark for this slumping team.

Devils

Standings: 23-27-10 (56 points) | eighth in the Metropolitan Division, 27th overall

Last Game: 2-1 win over the Sharks at Prudential Center on Thursday

Goal Leader:  Forward Kyle Palmieri (22)

Assist Leader: Forward Nikita Gusev (25)

Point Leader: Forward Kyle Palmieri (41)

Starting Goaltender: Interim Head Coach Alain Nasreddine will announce tomorrow morning who is starting for New Jersey. It could most likely be Mackenzie Blackwood, who has a .915 save percentage, 2.74 goals-against average, and three shutouts.

Power-Play: 15.8% (27th overall) | Palmieri leads with 10 power-play goals

Penalty Kill: 81.4% (13th overall) | Defenseman P.K. Subban leads with 65 penalty minutes

Essential News: As Monday’s 3 P.M. Trade Deadline looms, the Devils have already begun work, acquiring a second-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft and defenseman David Quenneville from the New York Islanders in exchange for captain Andy Greene. New Jersey also traded forward Blake Coleman to the Tampa Bay Lightning in exchange for forward prospect Nolan Foote and a first-round pick in 2020.

The Devils have gone 6-6-0 in their last 12 games. At home, the team has an 11-10-10 record.

By Della Young

About Della Young

Della Young is a fiction writer based out of the Northern Virginia/Washington, D.C. area and an online student attending Full Sail University. She got her start in the entertainment industry at age seven as an actress. At the young age of nine, Della wrote a psychological thriller short story that sparked her interest in creative writing. She comes from a family of big Capitals fans and became inspired to start writing for sports. In her spare time, Della enjoys photography, traveling, and working on both sides of the camera. Follow Della on Twitter: @dellayoung
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