Devils at Capitals
The Washington Capitals will continue their efforts to overcome a horrid start to the season when they kick off a three-game homestand against the New Jersey Devils on Thursday night. It's the first of two home games in three days against the Devils, who have won the last four meetings between the clubs - including a 3-2 overtime victory in New Jersey on Jan. 25. Washington, which lost six of its first seven (1-5-1), had a three-game winning streak snapped in Sunday's 2-1 loss at the New York Rangers.
The Devils will be looking to avert a third consecutive defeat after managing only two goals in back-to-back losses to the New York Islanders and Ottawa. New Jersey fell to 6-1-2 at home with its 2-1 shootout loss to the Senators on Monday afternoon. The Devils have won their last two visits to the nation's capital, including a 5-0 drubbing last March. That marked the only contest during their four-game win streak over the Capitals that has not gone beyond regulation.
TV: 7 p.m. MSG Plus (New Jersey, CSN Maryland (Washington)
ABOUT THE DEVILS (9-3-4): Ilya Kovalchuk, who scored the game-winner in New Jersey's victory over the Capitals last month, had his six-game point streak come to an end. The Devils will be without left wing Ryan Carter for both games in Washington. Carter absorbed a jarring hit versus the Senators and may be dealing with a concussion. David Clarkson, who has scored a team-high 10 goals, said he will be back in the lineup Thursday after tweaking his back in Monday's game. Martin Brodeur will be in goal.
ABOUT THE CAPITALS (5-9-1): Washington's power play had been clicking, producing a goal in six consecutive games before coming up empty on four opportunities against the Rangers. Eric Fehr set up the lone tally against New York to give him three goals and three assists during a four-game point streak. Defenseman Mike Green, who missed his first game of the season Sunday due to a lower-body injury, skated briefly Wednesday and will be evaluated Thursday morning, according to coach Adam Oates.
1. Washington G Braden Holtby surrendered five goals in his only career appearance against the Devils.
2. Brodeur has allowed at least three goals in five of his last nine starts.
3. Captain Alex Ovechkin has 10 goals and 20 assists in 27 games versus New Jersey.