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Game Preview: Devils vs. Capitals

Fresh off yet another disappointing loss, the Devils look to right the ship against a Capitals team they destroyed early in the season.

Washington Capitals v New Jersey Devils
Stefan Noesen fights against a member of the Washington Capitals, back when the season looked promising
Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

The Matchup: New Jersey Devils (9-10-4) vs. the Washington Capitals (14-7-3 SBNation; Japers Rink)

The Time: 7:00 PM EST

The Broadcast: MSG+

Dynamic Washington: The Washington Capitals have woken up, and boy are they hot. They are riding a six game win streak, scoring over three goals in each game. This team is out to win, and dominate teams. They are lead by the great Alex Ovechkin, who has 18 goals and 28 points in 24 games. He’s scored in three games in a row, and has 6 goals in his past 6. Alex Ovechkin knows no mercy. Nicklas Backstrom is the feeder, with 28 points as well, but he has 22 assists. Defenseman John Carlson is also dominating offensively, with 26 points and 21 assists. Evgeny Kuznetsov is the other top player, with 21 points in 18 games.

In terms of depth, Washington boasts an impressive group. T.J Oshie is second on the team with 9 goals, and 14 points. Jakub Vrana seems to have taken a step forward, with 14 points in 24 games, including 6 goals. Tom Wilson is back, and he has 12 points and 6 goals in 8 games. The other defenseman that will be seen a lot are Matt Niskanen, Dmitry Orlov, and Michal Kempny, with each averaging at least 18 minutes a game.

If there’s a weakness on the team, it is surprisingly the goaltending and Braden Holtby. He has a .917 save percentage, which is only average for goalies, and on the season isn’t playing up to his normal level. However, this comes with Holtby having played very well in his last four games, with save percentages of at least .949 in those games. This is a hot team riding the wave, and they will look to dispatch a struggling Devils team that embarrassed them early in the season

Devils Changes: Fresh off another loss to a team which they gave up a lead, the Devils have now lost three in a row. They have looked sloppy and uninspired, with passes not connecting and the defense leaving players open. They are tied points-wise with the Flyers for last in the Metropolitan, and they’ll need to step up their game quickly if they want to compete.

JS Dea was claimed back by the Penguins, and we will welcome Michael McLeod to the Devils. He’s a blisteringly fast skater, so let’s hope he helps the Devils gain some offense with that speed. The loss of Dea hurts no one, as he was a depth skater and no more than that.

Joey Anderson has a broken ankle and he will be out indefinitely.

Lineups: Nothing yet as of 10:27PM.

Your Thoughts?: Who will win? Who scores first? Let me know in the comments below, and take care!