Got Low: Evgeny Kuznetsov’s Two Goals Lead Capitals Past Devils, 4-3

Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals defeated the New Jersey Devils by a score of 4-3 at Capital One Arena on Thursday night. The win lifted the Capitals into a tie with the New York Islanders for first place in the East Division with two games in hand. Goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 21 saves in the victory.

Capitals’ Lines vs. Devils

Center Lars Eller missed his fifth straight game with a lower-body injury. Forward Conor Sheary was demoted from the second-line while forward T.J. Oshie was promoted from centering the third-line. The Capitals rotated players at third-line center.

First Period

Center Ryan Merkley poked home a puck from the left circle off of a turnover by Vanecek to give the Devils a 1-0 lead 1:13 into the game.

Defenseman Dmitry Orlov wristed one from the top after getting a feed by defenseman Justin Schultz from the right side and his shot beat goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood to tie it 1:47 later.

The Capitals led 12-4 in hits, 3-2 in takeaways, 7-4 in blocked shots, won 52% of the draws, and did not score on their lone power play of the first.

The Devils led 11-4 in shots, had no giveaways while the Capitals had two, and did not score on two power play opportunities in the opening period.

Second Period

Forward Miles Wood sent a shot to the right post from the goal line and the puck squeaked past Vanecek to give the Devils the lead back at 6:20.

Captain Alex Ovechkin blasted one by the left post from the circle after getting fed by forward Daniel Sprong across the ice to tie it again 55 seconds later.

Center Evgeny Kuznetsov beat Blackwood down low, outwaiting him and the Devils’ defense after getting a feed by Ovechkin, and to the glove to give the Capitals their first lead if the game with 8:13 left in the second. It was Kuznetsov’s eighth point in as many games.

The Capitals led 9-6 in second-period shots, 11-6 in blocked shots, 18-5 in hits, and did not score on one power play through 40 minutes.

The Devils led 17-13 in shots, 8-7 in takeaways, had one giveaway while the Capitals had five, won 51% of the draws, and did not score on two power plays in the first two periods.

Third Period

Forward Jesper Bratt blasted one from the right circle on the power play after getting fed from up top by defenseman Ty Smith to tie it with 8:56 left.

Kuznetsov grabbed the lead right back, tipping a shot from Schultz up top past the left pad of Blackwood from the right dot to give the Capitals the lead back with 7:54 remaining.

The Capitals led 9-7 in third-period shots, 17-11 in blocked shots, 26-9 in hits, and did not score on two power plays.

The Devils led 24-22 in shots, 11-9 in takeaways, had two giveaways while the Capitals had eight, won 53% of the draws, and scored on one of three power plays.

The Capitals host the Devils again on Friday. Action from Capital One Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington 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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2 Responses to Got Low: Evgeny Kuznetsov’s Two Goals Lead Capitals Past Devils, 4-3

  1. Marky says:

    Very good game and excellent game by Kuznetzov. He has been very good lately, glad to see that.

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