Preview: Capitals Seeking Surge Against Devils

After falling 4-3 in a disappointing loss to the New York Islanders Tuesday, the Washington Capitals have found themselves in a bit of a slump of late. They are 2-2-1 in their last five contests, and can’t seem to find a surefire way to win hockey games.

With a home-and-home coming up against the struggling New Jersey Devils, Washington hopes to end 2016 with a bang, as well as two wins under its belt.

New Jersey Devils at Washington Capitals

Verizon Center – 7:00 p.m. EST

Broadcast channels – NBCSN, CSNMA

2015-16 Season Series:

Oct. 10:  Devils 3, Capitals 5

Feb. 6:  Capitals 3, Devils 2 (SO)

Feb. 20:  Devils 3, Capitals 4

March 25:  Capitals 1, Devils 0 (OT)

Washington Capitals: 20-9-4, 44 Points

Home Record: 12-5-0

Hot Players: Alex Ovechkin, Nicklas Backstrom, Justin Williams, John Carlson

Projected Lines:


Alex Ovechkin-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Justin Williams

Marcus Johansson-Nicklas Backstrom-T.J. Oshie

Jakub Vrana-Lars Eller-Andre Burakovsky

Daniel Winnik-Jay Beagle-Tom Wilson


Karl Alzner-John Carlson

Dmitri Orlov- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik-Nate Schmidt


Braden Holtby


New Jersey Devils – 13-15-7, 33 Points

Away Record: 4-12-5

Hot Players: Kyle Palmieri, Adam Henrique, PA Parenteau

Key Injuries: Taylor Hall, Vernon Fiddler

Projected Lines:


Michael Cammalleri-Travis Zajac-Kyle Palmieri

Beau Bennett-Adam Henrique-P.A. Parenteau

Miles Wood-Jacob Josefson-Nick Lappin

Sergey Kalinin-Pavel Zacha-Devante Smith-Pelly


Andy Greene-Damon Severson

John Moore-Ben Lovejoy

Jon Merrill-Kyle Quincey


Cory Schneider



Game Notes

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]1)[/miptheme_dropcap]Washington may be looking to keep its playoff spot, but has a huge opportunity to climb the standings and sweep the Devils, who are currently in the midst of a two-game skid and hold the worst record in the Eastern Conference. Not to mention, Taylor Hall and Vernon Fiddler are out of the lineup; with one of New Jersey’s top scorers out, the Capitals need to capitalize on the opportunity of facing the Devils shorthanded.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]2)[/miptheme_dropcap]Andre Burakovsky continues to find his touch, meaning he gets to keep his gig and stay in the lineup for now. In his three games back in the lineup, Burakovsky has a goal and two assists and is a plus-3. This may mean that he is over his slump to start the year and that he is starting to gain his confidence back. As he continues to get back into the swing of his full-time job in the NHL, expect him to be a key player leading the offensive rush on the bottom-six.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]3)[/miptheme_dropcap]Alex Ovechkin is also finding his game, having scored at least a point in four of his last five games. He appears to have more drive on the ice while taking the puck to the net, and he has more rhythm and speed coming into the offensive zone. With Ovechkin showing flashes of his former self and becoming more dynamic offensively, the Capitals have a lot in their arsenal to light the lamp against New Jersey, a team that allows an average of three goals a game.

[miptheme_dropcap style=”normal” color=”#222222″ background=””]4)[/miptheme_dropcap]Though Holtby allowed four goals on 31 shots against the Islanders Tuesday, he has the chance to redeem himself against the Devils and will likely start, given Philipp Grubauer will start one game over the weekend. The 27-year-old has been outstanding in his career against New Jersey, going 10-3-1 and boasting a 1.99 GAA and .926 save percentage in 14 starts.