Solid At The Rock: Capitals Dump Devils, 4-1; Anthony Mantha Scores Twice In As Many Games

Photo: Mike Stobes/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals defeated the New Jersey Devils by a score of 4-1 at Prudential Center on Thursday night. The win improved the Capitals’ record to 3-0-1 this season. Goaltender Vitek Vanecek made 24 saves in the victory.

Capitals’ Lineup at Devils

Graphic: @Capitals

The Capitals did not make any lineup changes from their 6-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday other than in goal. Center Nicklas Backstrom missed his fourth straight game with a hip injury.

First Period

Right-wing Anthony Mantha stashed one in the net on the backhand in front of the goal after right-wing Daniel Sprong followed up an attempted pass across from behind the net after his first attempt got blocked by a Devil to open the scoring 4:14 into the game. The Capitals have scored first in each of their four games this season.

After feeding captain Alex Ovechkin from the left half-wall, defenseman Dmitry Orlov followed up Ovechkin’s shot from the slot by going to the backhand and roofing the puck to the top right corner on goaltender MacKenzie Blackwood to make it 2-0 at 9:33.

The Capitals led 13-8 in shots, 7-6 in takeaways, 4-3 in blocked shots, won 77% of the draws, did not score on their lone power play, and had three giveaways while the Devils had eight in the first.

The Devils led 7-1 in hits and did not get a power play in the period.

Second Period

After intercepting a pass to Devils defenseman Dougie Hamilton up top along the boards, Sprong skated in on a breakaway, deked, and beat Blackwood through the five-hole to extend the lead to 3-0 at 9:56.

The Capitals led 20-15 in shots, 10-8 in blocked shots, won 57% of the draws, had three giveaways while the Devils had 12, and failed to score on their lone power play opportunity through 40 minutes.

The Devils led 13-5 in hits through two.

Both teams earned seven second-period shots and 11 takeaways in the first two periods.

Third Period

Center Evgeny Kuznetsov whacked one in from down low glove-side after right-wing Tom Wilson got the puck out of Devils defenseman Ryan Graves’ hands to make it 4-0 9:16 into the third. The assist was Wilson’s fifth this season (including third primary one, which leads the Capitals). Kuznetsov earned his third multi-point game and his eight points are tied for the most he has ever had through four games in a season (2017-18: eight assists).

Center Jane Kuokkanen wristed one past through the legs of Vanecek from the slot on a broken play during a man advantage with 6:42 left.

The Capitals led 27-25 in shots, 17-9 in blocked shots, won 56% of the draws, had six giveaways while the Devils had 13, and failed to score on three power plays.

The Devils led 10-7 in third-period shots, 15-12 in takeaways, 18-11 in hits, and scored on their lone man advantage opportunity.

Next game: vs. Calgary Flames on Saturday (1 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington locally, NHL Network nationally)

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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9 Responses to Solid At The Rock: Capitals Dump Devils, 4-1; Anthony Mantha Scores Twice In As Many Games

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

  2. Anonymous says:

    Hard to find much to complain about at this point. Pretty fast start by the Caps.

    • Jon Sorensen says:

      Roger that. Defense is playing within the system, solid play by all defenders. Fehervary has stepped in and added youth and speed. Can’t see him losing his spot anytime soon. Offense if finally scoring 5v5 goals, all/most high-danger tonight.

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

  4. Pingback: Friday Caps Clips: No Sympathy For The Devils

  5. Anonymous says:

    Dominating performance, indeed.

  6. Pingback: Friday Caps Clips: No Sympathy For The Devils - Baltimore Sports Today

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