The New Jersey Devils (25-25-12) will meet the Washington Capitals (42-13-7) at the Verizon Center for their last of four meetings this season. Washington is going for their 14th straight home win, a franchise record. New Jersey is 1-2-0 against the Capitals this season; their only win came back on December 29th on their Fathers’ Trip in a shootout in Washington; they were outshot 44-27, got a regulation goal from P.A. Parenteau, and shootout goals from Michael Cammalleri and Jacob Josefson. The two teams met again two days at the Prudential Center and the Devils lost 6-2. They were only outshot 26-23 and got goals from Kyle Palmieri and Beau Bennett. New Jersey lost the third meeting (at home), 5-2. They were outshot 36-29 and got goals from Stefan Noesen and Adam Henrique; Henrique’s was a power play goal, and the only one in all three games.
New Jersey is coming off of a 4-3 overtime loss to Montréal on Monday; the Capitals defeated the Rangers 4-1 on Tuesday. Palmieri, John Moore, and Travis Zajac (a PPG) all scored goals. The Caps got goals from Marcus Johannson (2), Brett Connolly, and Nicklas Backstrom.
Tonight’s goalie matchup will likely be Cory Schneider vs. Braden Holtby. Keith Kinkaid has made all three starts for New Jersey and was pulled in his last game against Washington. Schneider stopped all 18 shots faced in his relief appearance. Holtby made the first and third starts, while Peter Grubauer made the second. Both have been excellent in their starts against the Devils.
There are a few extra lineup notes today because of the trade deadline. Kyle Quincey, P.A. Parenteau, and Reece Scarlett were all traded to the Blue Jackets, Predators, and Panthers. Pavel Zacha (concussion) and Jacob Josefson (upper body) both did not practice yesterday; Zacha is the only one on injured reserve. Kevin Rooney was recalled from Albany (AHL) yesterday and will replace either Zacha or Josefson in his NHL debut. Seth Helgeson was reassigned to Albany (AHL). Dalton Prout, received in the Quincey trade, skated with the team this morning but will not make his Devils debut tonight. Washington won the Kevin Shattenkirk sweepstakes on Monday and he will likely be paired with Brooks Orpik tonight, if Orpik does indeed return to the lineup. T.J. Oshie is also out tonight.
New Jersey has been pretty good in the faceoff circle against Washington. They’ve killed all but two of Washington’s 12 power play opportunities in this three-game span. However, they have only scored one power play goal in 16 opportunities. Their power play has been significantly better as of the last few weeks: they have 12 power play goals in their last 11 games and have at least one in five straight games.
The team hasn’t had any significant changes so let’s see what the young guys can do; puck drops at 7PM.