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Game Preview: New Jersey Devils vs. Washington Capitals

NHL: Washington Capitals at New Jersey Devils Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports

The Matchup: New Jersey Devils ( ) at the Washington Capitals (23-13-3 SBNation; Japers’ Rink)

The Time: 7:00 PM EST

The Broadcast: TV - MSG+; Digital Audio - TONJ

The Last Devils Game: The game started off well, with the Devils scoring off a scrum to make it 1-0, with the goal going to Miles Wood for his 10th of the season. The second period, the Devils dominated shotwise 13-3, but the score on the period was 2-2, bringing it to 3-2 heading into the 3rd. It started when a Blake Coleman giveaway led to a breakaway for our old friend and shootout specialist Jacob Josefson, and he proceeded to bank it in for his 2nd of the season. The Devils responded on the power play, with a Marcus Johansson goal, his 5th of the year. John Moore scored on a screen by Brian Boyle for his 5th of the year, before Jack Eichel tipped a shot in from Jake McCabe to make it 3-2. In the 3rd, the Devils looked in control, but Jack Eichel then scored his 2nd of the game on the power-play to tie the game. Hall had a goal overturned due to offside, and Eichel then hit one off the post on a tip, and we headed to overtime. In overtime, it was the Sabres who came out on top, as Rasmus Ristolainen outmuscled John Moore, before scoring to give the Sabres a 4-3 lead.

The Last Capitals Game: The Capitals were able to overcome the 4-3 in a shootout. Lars Eller, Brett Connolly, and Alex Ovechkin scored for the Capitals. That goal now puts Alex Ovechkin at 24 on the season, while also breaking a 4 game goalless drought (for his standards). Braden Holtby made 31 saves on 34 shots, and on the year he is 21-8-0 with a .918 save percentage.

Who To Watch?: The Capitals roster features two offensive juggernauts in Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Both players are point-per-game players (Ovechkin is technically one off, but it’s close enough), and are dangerous in any game. Nicklas Backstrom is next with 28 points. Other than them, Jakub Vrana and TJ Oshie are capable of scoring on any team, while Tom Wilson is developing into his own as well.

Defensively, John Carlson is the face of the defense, averaging nearly 27 minutes a game. Dmitry Orlov, Matt Niskanen, and Brooks Orpik round out the top 4, with each averaging over 20 minutes a game. The rest of the defense, whether it be Madison Bowey, Christian Djoos or Taylor Chorney, average around 10-13 minutes a game, so this team evidently relies on it’s top 4 defenseman to carry the load.

So...: What do you think? Who will win this game? Let me know in the comments below, and take care.