The Washington Capitals couldn’t pick up the win Thursday but managed to escape with a point against the New Jersey Devils in a game that belonged to the goalies.
Washington remains fourth in the Metropolitan with another point and continues to fight for a higher spot in the Eastern Conference standings.
The Capitals had lots of energy to start the hockey game, getting great looks and chances to start the first period. They exchanged plenty of scoring opportunities with New Jersey, but the goaltenders stole the show, making great saves and keeping the game scoreless through 20. Washington had the upper hand offensively, leading in shots 14-8 after 20 minutes of play. However, they couldn’t score on their two power-play opportunities in the first.
A little over a minute into the middle frame, the Devils found twine first. P.A. Parenteau ripped a dart past Braden Holtby for his 10th goal of the season to make it 1-0.
After that, Washington stepped up, looking for the equalizer. Despite plenty of chances from Washington, Keith Kinkaid stole the show, stopping all 15 shots he faced in the second period. Washington would remain scoreless through 40, trailing the Devils by a single shot.
Washington kept putting pucks on net, but Kinkaid continued to remain solid, and lucky, stopping all of their attempts. Finally, the Capitals would find their offense thanks to their special teams, but not in the way one would expect.
After Andre Burakovsky took a high-sticking call, Jay Beagle and Daniel Winnik pushed the puck out of the zone, creating a shorthanded chance. With great desperation from his knees, Beagle passed the puck to a wide open Winnik in front, who stuffed it past Kinkaid to tie the game early in the third. That tally, along with outstanding plays by both goalies respectively, would lead the game to overtime.
Overtime and Shootout
Each team exchanged quality looks in the overtime frame, but neither one of them could convert. The shots were tied 4-4 after five minutes of 3-on-3 hockey. This game would again be seen in the hands of the goalies, and head to the shootout for a decision.
Prior to the shootout, Cory Schneider prepared Kinkaid for what he may experience, showing him former Capitals shootout moves via an iPad. That seemed to work, or perhaps, it was his patience that led him to stopping both T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov on their attempts. Michael Cammalleri and Jacob Josefson struck in the shootout, giving the Devils their hard-fought victory.
NJD- PA Parenteau (10), unassisted
WSH- Daniel Winnik (5) assisted by Jay Beagle and John Carlson
WSH- T.J. Oshie miss
NJD- Michael Cammalleri scored
WSH- Evgeny Kuznetsov missed
NJD- Jacob Josefson scored
THW Three Stars
First: Keith Kinkaid (43 saves)
Second: Daniel Winnik (one goal, six shots)
Third: PA Parenteau (one goal)
Washington Capitals at New Jersey Devils
Prudential Center, 1 p.m. EST on December 31
Broadcast Channels: CSNMA, MSG+
Sammi Silber covers the Capitals beat for The Hockey Writers and is an NHL contributor with Sporting News. She has also contributed to USA TODAY College, Huffington Post, FanSided and the Nation Network. Silber has written four books and recently worked on graphics for the film, The California Golden Seals Movie.