Washington at New Jersey Series Preview: Capitals Tangle With Devils in Weekend Matinees

Photo: Julio Cortez/AP

The Washington Capitals begin a five-game road trip, starting with the New Jersey Devils at Prudential Center in a back-to-back matinee clash on Saturday (1 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington locally, NHL Network nationally) and Sunday (3 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington). In the first of eight matchups this season, the Capitals defeated the Devils 4-3 on February 21 at Capital One Arena.

Capitals

Last Game: 5-2 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins at Capital One Arena

Standings: 10-5-4 (24 points) | second in the MassMutual East Division, ninth overall

Goal Leader: Center Nicklas Backstrom (9)

Assist Leader: Backstrom (15)

Point Leader: Backstrom (24)

Goaltenders: Vitek Vanecek will likely be in net for Washington. The 25-year-old netminder has gone 8-4-3 in sixteen games played. He has a .909 save percentage and 2.86 goals-against-average. Goaltender Craig Anderson has a 1-1-0 record in two games played thus far, a .853 save percentage, and 3.63 goals-against average. Anderson was the starting goalie in the February 21 win over the Devils.

Power-Play: 32% (3rd) | Forward T.J. Oshie leads with four power-play goals.

Penalty Kill: 79.7% (16th) | Center Nic Dowd and defenseman Brenden Dillon lead with 16 penalty minutes each.

Essential Notes: Captain Alex Ovechkin will be a game-time decision for Saturday’s game after taking a maintenance day on Friday for an apparent lower-body injury he suffered in Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime loss to the Penguins. The team re-assigned goaltender Ilya Samsonov from taxi squad to the Hershey Bears of the AHL.

Devils

Last Game: 4-3 overtime win over the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center

Standings: 7-6-2 (16 points) | sixth in the MassMutual East Division, twenty-third overall

Goal Leader: Forward Miles Wood (6)

Assist Leader: Defenseman Ty Smith (8)

Point Leader: Center Pavel Zacha (12)

Goaltenders: Mackenzie Blackwood is likely to be in net for New Jersey. The 24-year-old netminder has gone 5-2-1 in eight games played. He has a .932 save percentage and 2.34 goals-against-average. Scott Wedgewood has gone 1-3-1 in five games played thus far, a .901 save percentage, 2.80 goals-against-average, and one shutout. Aaron Dell (0-1-0) was the starting goalie in the February 21 loss to the Capitals.

Power-Play: 15.9% (22nd) | Wood leads with two power-play goals.

Penalty Kill: 58.3% (31st) | Defenseman P.K. Subban leads with 14 penalty minutes.

Essential Notes: Defenseman Ryan Murray and forward Janne Kuokkanen took maintenance days for the Devils. The team re-assigned defenseman Matt Tennyson from the taxi squad to the Binghamton Devils of the AHL and recalled blueliner Josh Jacobs from Binghamton to the taxi squad.

The team will be honoring forward Travis Zajac for playing his 1,000 career game with the club this past Sunday against the Capitals. He joins three other Devils players with that honor: Martin Brodeur, Ken Daneyko, and Patrik Elias.

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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3 Responses to Washington at New Jersey Series Preview: Capitals Tangle With Devils in Weekend Matinees

  1. Pingback: Saturday Caps Clips: Capitals @ Devils Game Day

  2. Pingback: Capitals @ Devils Game Thread

  3. Anonymous says:

    Will be interesting to see how the Caps do against the speed game again. And the trap in the neutral zone. AND see if they can turn in a good effort for a matinee game.

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