Capital Eyes On New Jersey – Game 22

Washington Capitals (14-5-2) v. New Jersey Devils (5-13-2)

7:00 PM EST – Prudential Center – Newark, New Jersey

TV/Radio: CSN-DC; Caps Radio 1500

Season series: October 9 – Washington (7) – New Jersey (2)

Last game: After Friday’s lackluster 5-0 loss to the Atlanta Thrashers, the Capitals returned home to face off against the Atlantic Division-leading Philadelphia Flyers. Despite coming back from 3-1 and 4-3 deficits in the third period, Washington fell to Philadelphia 5-4 in a shootout. Marcus Johansson, Nicklas Backstrom, Jason Chimera and Eric Fehr scored for the Capitals.

Possible lineup for Washington:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Semin
Fleischmann-Laich-Fehr
Chimera-Johansson-Bradley
Hendricks-Steckel-Gordon

Schultz-Green
Alzner-Carlson
Erskine-Sloan

Neuvirth
Holtby

Possible lineup for New Jersey:

Ilya Kovalchuk – Dainius Zubrus – Alexander Vasyunov
Patrik Elias – Jason Arnott – Mattias Tedenby
Brian Rolston – Travis Zajac – David Clarkson
Adam Mair – Rod Pelley – Stephen Gionta

Matthew Corrente – Andy Greene
Henrik Tallinder – Colin White
Anton Volchenkov – Olivier-Magnan Grenier

Johan Hedberg
Mike McKenna

Outlook: Since the Capitals and Devils last met October 9, these two teams have been heading in opposite directions. Washington has surged to the top of the NHL standings despite injuries to several players throughout the course of the first quarter of the season. New Jersey, on the other hand, has slid as far as they can go, sitting in fourth place in the Atlantic Division and missing Zach Parise (knee surgery) and Martin Brodeur (bruised elbow). Brodeur will not dress for Monday’s game and the goaltending duties will be left to veteran Johan Hedberg and journeyman Mike McKenna.

The Capitals have struggled to find their groove in recent games, despite a 7-1-2 record in their past 10 games. There might not be a better time for Washington to get back on track against a depleted Devils team that has been dealing with drama on and off the ice all season long. New Jersey allows 3.2 GA/G, 25th in the league and their power play is only 10.2%, second-to-last. The Devils are looking to two of the team’s all-time greats to help them stay afloat. Jason Arnott leads the Devils with six goals, while Patrick Elias has a team-high 12 points.

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