Washington Capital (52-15-5)
New Jersey Devils (36-31-7)
Game Time: 7 p.m.
The Washington Capitals (109 Point) and the New Jersey Devils (79 points) square off Friday night in Newark.
The Devils are fighting for their playoff lives as they’re six points back of Detroit and Philadelphia with eight games remaining for the final playoff spot in the East. Winners of two straight, they’re coming off an impressive 3-0 win over the Pittsburgh Penguins thanks to Scott Wedgewood’s strong goaltending in place of Corey Schneider. Kyle Palmieri had two goals and Adam Henrique the other. Blake Pietila had a solid debut with two shots and eight hits in 12 minutes of play.
Washington defeated Ottawa 4-2 Tuesday in Ottawa. The team shook off their first period woes an erupted with three goals by Mike Richards, Alex Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom. TJ Oshie sealed the game with and empty netter in the third. Braden Holtby picked up win 44, making him three away from tying Martin Brodeur’s all-time single season win record.
Playing for their Playoff Lives
Playing smart, disciplined hockey will be key for the Devils to have any chance at beating the Caps. Stopping them at even strength is hard enough but when they’re on the power play, the Caps make you pay. The Devils can’t afford to pull any penalties in this matchup. The Devils have indicated that Kinkaid may be in the net tonight–we will have to wait and see how the morning unfolds.
Plenty of Fire Power
The Caps are looking to wrap up the President’s Trophy behind their snipers Alex Ovechkin and top-scorers Evgeny Kuznetsov and Justin Williams. Coach Trotz indicated that John Carlson may return tonight or Saturday after tweaking a previous lower body injury and being out for nearly a month.
TJ Oshie will be out tonight after skipping practice for “a bug” on Thursday and not being able to fly out to Jersey. Stan Galiev is expected to join the line-up to fill in the empty spot. There was not practice today so we will have to wait until warmups to see if Carlson is in and where Coach slots Stan.
Rock the Red!