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Game Preview: New Jersey Devils versus the Washington Capitals

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The Devils are back at home to take on a Divisional opponent embedded in the playoff picture.

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

The Matchup: The New Jersey Devils (27-37-9) versus the Washington Capitals (42-23-7). SBN Blog: Jaspers’ Rink

The Broadcast: TV - MSG+

The Time: 7:30 PM ET

Back Home: The New Jersey Devils are back in Newark for four games in their longest remaining home stand of the season. If the Devils were a competitive team, I’d still be very excited about their performance in western Canada.

Day Off: After being shutout in Colorado on St. Patrick’s Day, the Devils had a travel day yesterday. Therefore, they had no practice, and coach John Hynes did not have any opportunity to provide updates for the team.

Expected Goaltender: According to Washington Capitals’ beat writer Isabelle Khurshudyan, Braden Holtby will be starting for the Capitals tomorrow night versus Tampa Bay. Therefore, she expects Todd Reirden to start Pheonix Copley. Copley, in 24 games this season, is 15-5-3, with a .904 save percentage and 2.97 goals against average.

With Cory Schneider playing against Colorado on Sunday, I would expect MacKenzie Blackwood to get the start tonight.

The Capitals Last Game: The Capitals played Tampa Bay on Saturday, losing 6-3. Braden Holtby kept the game close, but the Capitals could not tie the game with the goaltender pulled. Tampa Bay scored two on the empty net, and thus the Capitals must beat the Devils if they want to break even on their road trip. Meanwhile, Alex Ovechkin scored his 47th and 48th goals of the season. Ovechkin has 81 points this season.

Rat Race to the Bottom of the Sewers: The New Jersey Devils currently hold the fourth worst place in the standings. Their record has them with 63 points in 73 games. The third worst is Detroit, who the Devils will play before the end of the season. They have 60 points in 72 games. All things told, the Devils probably can’t do much to change their place in the standings significantly either way for the rest of the season. The team is so ravaged by injuries that it will be hard to win more than a couple games, and aside from moving below Detroit they probably can’t go too far down.

Speaking of Injuries: If any update is provided for players such as Nico Hischier, Nathan Bastian, Jesper Bratt, Miles Wood, Pavel Zacha, and Kurtis Gabriel, I will pass it along as possible.

Your Thoughts: What do you think about tonight’s game? How hard do you think the Capitals will come out of the gate? Or do you think they might be looking past the Devils? Are you looking forward to watching? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.