The Devils have found a little confidence since leaving the confines of Newark, NJ. They are currently out on a 3 game road trip and have won the first two games of that road trip beating Tampa Bay in a shootout and taking care of the Florida Panthers in regulation. It would be very satisfying to come away with a win tonight and finish the trip with a perfect record, which would be huge considering the mood in the locker room one week ago.
The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (2-2-0) vs. the Washington Capitals(2-2-1) and the first meeting of the season.
The Last Game: The Devils played their best game of the season Saturday night defeating the Florida Panthers 3-2 in regulation. David Clarkson put home the game winner with just over 3 minutes remaining in the game. The Devils Powerplay was 2-for-6 and looked to have some life to it. Even though it was, in my opinion, their best outing, there were certainly minutes where the Devils play wasn’t very “snappy.” Case in point, the Panthers tied the game at 2 while on the powerplay. Weiss skated into the Devils zone, blew by two defenders and rocketed a wrist shot over Marty’s left shoulder.
Game Thoughts: The Capitals are certainly a much stronger opponent than either the Lightning or the Panthers. Ovechkin, Backstrom and Semin is one of the most dangerous lines in the league. Ovechkin (five goals, five assists) and Backstrom (two goals, eight assists) are tied for the league lead in points with San Jose’s Dany Heatley and Joe Thorton with 10 each. Semin (five goals, four assists) is only one point behind so the Devils defense will have to be on top of their game tonight. The rumor is that it will be Marty v Theodore in goal tonight despite the reports that Denis would play a game during this road trip. Theodore has a 2.90 GAA (28th inthe league) vs Marty’s 3.22 GAA, which is 38th in the league. The Devils should be able to put some pucks behind Theodore tonight but the same can be said for the Capitols. Both teams are pretty even when it comes to special teams. The Caps have lost their last 3 games (one in OT) and will be looking to get back on track. I would expected this game to have a pretty quick tempo to it and really be an entertaining game.
Head over to the Capital’s Kremlin for some insight on this game from the Capitals point of view.
Elias News: He’s is continuing to skate on his own but team management has not said when he would be skating with the team. “Everything is progressing,” Lamoriello said. “He’s been skating every day since he started last Tuesday and will continue to do so.”