12/31/16 Game Preview: Washington Capitals vs. New Jersey Devils

Coming off his fourth win of the season and a truly spectacular performance on Thursday night, Keith Kinkaid is expected to start in net for the New Jersey Devils (14-15-7) as they finish up their home-and-home series against the Washington Capitals (20-9-5) at 1PM at The Rock. The Devils defeated the Capitals in their first meeting of the season in a shootout, 2-1, with P.A. Parenteau scoring the lone goal and both Michael Cammalleri and Jacob Josefson scoring in the shootout. Parenteau has now scored in his last two games and leads the team in goals scored with 10. Adam Henrique and Cammalleri are right behind him with nine.

Taylor Hall did not practice again yesterday and will not play today. His injury isn’t serious and is unrelated to his knee surgery.

Yesterday’s practice lines:

Cammalleri-Zajac-Palmieri

Bennett-Henrique-Parenteau

Wood-Josefson-Smith-Pelly

Gazdic-Kalinin-Lappin

Greene-Severson

Auvitu-Lovejoy

Moore-Quincey

It’s also still too early to keep a close eye on the league standings but it wouldn’t hurt to take a peek. The Devils are currently 7th in the Metropolitan division and are four points behind Carolina, who defeated Chicago last night and have one game on the Devils. Philadelphia holds the final wild card spot for the Eastern Conference with 44 points, Washington holds the first with 45 points. Other than these two teams, New Jersey is still behind five other teams for a wild card spot (Tampa Bay, Toronto, Carolina, Florida, and Detroit). Columbus, Pittsburgh, and New York [Rangers] still hold the top three spots in the Metropolitan. New Jersey has played 36 games thus far and the league is slowly reaching the halfway mark. Every time in the Metro plays today/tonight except for Philadelphia.

It’s an exciting time for hockey. After the Capitals @ Devils game at 1PM, Team USA takes on Team Canada at 3:30PM in the World Juniors. Both teams are 3-0 in Round Robin play and if you’re watching Devils prospects, Michael McLeod, Blake Speers, and Joey Anderson will play. McLeod has a goal in each game in which he’s been on the ice for an extended amount of time. Yegor Rykov and Team Russia play Team Slovakia at 8PM but I think there’s another game you should try and watch instead.

The Columbus Blue Jackets, riding a 14-game win streak, take on the Minnesota Wild, on a 12-game win streak, at Minnesota at 6PM. According to NHL.com, these two teams will be the first teams in North American professional sports (hockey, American football, basketball, baseball) to play in a game in which both teams have won at least 12 games in a row. I wish that the NHL could find a way to nationally televise this game because it is definitely worth watching. And in case you were wondering, the longest win streak in league history belongs to the defending Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins, who had a 17-game win streak back in 1993 (Montreal won the Cup that year).

However, the only win streak I truly care about is the New Jersey Devils trying to win two in a row against the Washington Capitals at 1PM.

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