Capitals Drop Devils, 4-2; Evgeny Kuznetsov Scores Twice, Beck Malenstyn And Nicolas Aube-Kubel Score First Goals Of The Season

Photo: X/@Capitals

The Washington Capitals downed the New Jersey Devils, 4-2 Friday night at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey. Nicolas Aube-Kubel and Beck Malenstyn scored their first goals of the season and Evgeny Kuznetsov tallied twice in the victory. The win improves the Capitals record to 6-4-2 on the season.


Charlie Lindgren (1-1-0, 2.51 GAA, .929 sv%) got the start in goal for the visiting Capitals. Vitek Vanecek (6-3-0, 3.29 GAA, .893 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Devils. The Capitals forward lines and defensive pairs:

Alex Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Tom Wilson
Sonny Milano – Dylan Strome – T.J. Oshie
Aliaksei Protas – Connor McMichael – Matthew Phillips
Beck Malenstyn – Nic Dowd – Nicolas Aube-Kubel

 Martin Fehervary – John Carlson
Rasmus Sandin – Nick Jensen
Hardy Häman Aktell – Lucas Johansen

 Charlie Lindgren
Hunter Shepard

Scratches:, Forward Hendrix Lapierre, Defenseman Alex Alexeyev, Darcy Kuemper.

Injuries: Forward Anthony Mantha (upper body injury), Defensemen Trevor van Riemsdyk, Joel Edmundson (hand; long-term injured reserve), and forward Max Pacioretty (Achilles; long-term injured reserve)


The Capitals opened the scoring midway through the first period on a tally from Nicolas Aube-Kubel with 9:38 remaining in the period. Aube-Kubel was recalled from AHL Hershey earlier in the day. Rasmus Sandin (2) and Sonny Milano (2) had the helpers.

The Capitals quickly made it 2-0 just 15 seconds later on a shot from the right side by Beck Malenstyn at 10:37 of the opening stanza. Nicolas Aube-Kubel (1) and Martin Fehervary (2) had the assists.

Vítek Vanecek was pulled by the Devils after the second goal and replaced by Akira Schmid.

The Capitals would hold the 2-0 lead at the first intermission. The Capitals led in five-on-five shot attempts, 13-8, with the Devils leading in xGF .39 to .23.


The Capitals made 3-0 early in the middle frame on a breakaway tally from Evgeny Kuznetsov (2) at 6:34. Tom Wilson (4) and Alex Ovechkin (7) had the helpers.

And that was it for the middle frame, with Capitals holding the 3-0 lead at the second intermission. Defenseman Martin Fehervary sustained a lower body injury and did not return to the game.


The Devils cut the Capitals lead to 3-1 with a tally from Timo Meier (4) at 7:13 of the final frame.

The Devils quickly made it a one goal game just 1:59 later with a marker from Dawson Mercer at 9:12 of the third period.

Evgeny Kuznetsov added an empty goal late to make it 4-2. That would be the final.


  • Nicolas Aube-Kubel, who made his season debut tonight against New Jersey, scored his first goal of the season to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead. Aube-Kubel registered 12 points (4g, 8a) in 47 games with Washington last season.
  • Beck Malenstyn scored his first goal goal of the season and third of his career to extend the lead to 2-0. Two of Malenstyn’s four career points have come against New Jersey (1g, 1a).
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his second goal of the season to extend the Capitals’ lead to 3-0. With the goal, Kuznetsov passes Dale Hunter (556) for the seventh-most points in franchise history.
  • The Capitals have posted a 5-1-1 record over their last seven games. Washington has allowed just 17 goals against during the seven-game stretch, which is tied for the sixth fewest in the NHL since Oct. 25.
  • The Capitals improve to 2-0-0 this season against New Jersey and 13-3-1 in their last 17 games at Prudential Center. In addition, Washington is 28-4-5 in their last 37 games against the Devils dating back to the 2015-16 season.
  • The Capitals have killed off 17 straight opposing power-play opportunities over their last seven games.
  • Charlie Lindgren stopped 24 of 26 shots faced against New Jersey to earn his second win of the season. In three games this season, Lindgren has a record of 2-1-0 with a 2.63 goals-against average and a .927 save percentage.
  • Nic Dowd’s first game since October 16.

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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13 Responses to Capitals Drop Devils, 4-2; Evgeny Kuznetsov Scores Twice, Beck Malenstyn And Nicolas Aube-Kubel Score First Goals Of The Season

  1. Jon Sorensen says:

  2. novafyre says:

    We won but at what cost? Fever? Sandy? Not good for the first game of a back to back.

    • Diane Doyle says:

      Sandin came back so he’s okay. But I figure Fehervary is out for next game, barring a miraculous recovery. So Alexeyev is back in the lineup for tomorrow. We now have no spare defensemen for tomorrow. Figure Edmondson gets activated next week since, if nothing else, we need a 7th guy on general principle. (Question: who’s closer to returning, Edmondson or TVR?)

      • novafyre says:

        But what is ‘ok?’ Nicky was ‘ok’ enough to be on the ice but we know he wasn’t 100%. Injured players who are ‘ok’ enough to play sometimes worry me more than injured players who are replaced.

        • andrew777dc says:

          Harsh. But true. One thing is to keep the wheels from falling off, which will do for a few games. But another is getting the car to the service station for some major repairs, which still need to get done. Or getting a new, better performing car. Sorry, rhetoric comparison…

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

  4. Jon Sorensen says:

  5. Jon Sorensen says:

  6. Anonymous says:

    Lindgren is better than Kuemper. I would try to trade Kuemper. He’s over paid.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Love the Devils fan who stuck his middle finger in the shot after Beck’s goal, lol.

  8. DC Scappeli says:

    Good win, got shaky there for a bit. Oh, and so was Carbs public shaming of Kuzy pre-meditated? A bit of psychology to motivate him? It’s great that he called him out, but it’s a little sad that he has to motivate Kuzy like that.

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