Caps at Devils Pregame: Metro Matinee

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Photo: Amanda Bowen

The rumors are true: Thursday night, the Caps finally won a game. YAY. Ovi sealed the deal in a triumphant 3-2 victory over the Isles, who really dislike Tom Wilson.

Incidentally, Saturday’s contest is against another Metro rival. The Caps, who are currently the NHL’s best team, are taking on the Devils, who are currently the NHL’s thirteenth-best team. Few things are more demoralizing than losing to the Maple Leafs in a shootout, but such was the Devils’ fate Tuesday night.

The teams last faced one another during the Caps’ home opener, which the Caps won 5-3. A lot has happened since then. The Caps have risen to become Stanley Cup contenders, while the Devils are as meh as the second season of True Detective.

The game’s a matinee, so tune into CSN at 1 PM.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 36-9-4 51.8% 102.0 25.0% 84.0%
New Jersey Devils 26-20-6 46.5% 100.9 19.4% 81.8%

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Caps vs Devils Pregame: And They’re Off!

The wait is over. Real, meaningful hockey is here again. Puck drop is at 7 PM on CSN. If you’re going to the game, be loud and be proud. If you’re watching at home, call up some friends, order some ‘Za, and get ready to once again hear the soothing voices of Joe. B and Locker bring you a Caps game that matters.

Seriously, tonight is going to be so great that not even the use of the skycam can ruin it.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 0-0-0 N/A N/A N/A N/A
New Jersey Devils 0-1-0 36.9% 94.8 25% 75%

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Adam Oates Sucks: Caps beat Devils 3-2 (OT)

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The Capitals hadn’t played a game since the late 80s (okay, Saturday), so they looked rested and dialed-in for most of Thursday’s home game against Adam Oates and the New Jersey Devils. Then the third period happened, wherein the Capitals played a prevent defense, which is about as effective as the rhythm method is at birth control.

Inconceivably, Karl Alzner scored first, wandering deep in the offensive zone, where Oates did think him naughty for being there. Eric Fehr doubled down in the second period because he’s terrific, but then Travis “Pat” Zajac cashed in on one of the Caps’ many power-play turnovers. The Caps surrendered the possession game in the third period and relied way too much on Braden Holtby. Steve Bernier tied it up in the final thirty seconds to force overtime, but who cares– Matt Niskanen fired the niscannon to get the OTGWG. (Or maybe Kuznetsov tipped it? Doesn’t matter. CAPS WIN!)

Caps beat Oates 3-2 in overtime.

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Caps vs Devils Pregame: Two Points, Please

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The Devils, lacking a head coach but sporting Adam Oates behind the bench, will come to town tonight. So a Caps team looking to solidify their playoff position really ought to grab these two points. Remember earlier this season when Ovi scored an amazing goal against the Devils and then gave his stick to my nephew? That was cool.

The action starts at 7 PM on CSN. The Caps only have two more 7 PM starts after tonight.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 39-24-10 52.0% 100.2 24.9% 81.2%
New Jersey Devils 31-31-11 46.9%  101.2 19.0% 80.8%

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Splat goes Tom Wilson

Splat goes Tom Wilson

Every season it’s the same. It begins, invariably, with a euphoric burst of optimism that somehow, this year, this season, everything is going to work out. The team will be saved and we’ll all rejoice. Their journey will have come to an end, and the world will be a better place.

Sure, there will be lots of scrapes along the way. While the team that has sustained us for multiple seasons now will lose several beloved but under-performing members, the core players will remain. We’ll have some feels about saying goodbye to a few, but we’ll also pick up a few new members along the way. And, at least at the start, they’ll have a lot of promise.

But one thing never changes. Disaster, often from an unexpected source, will find a way to enter the narrative– you can be sure of that. And when it does, it will look and feel awful…perhaps even fatal.

Yet everyone will dig deep, deeper perhaps than they thought they could, and we’ll survive to fight again. We may not have found the promised land yet, but there’s always next season. What’s important is moving forward. Pressing on. It’s essential. It feels, in fact, like life or death.

Of course, I’m talking about The Walking Dead. What did you think I was going on about?

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Helper Beagle’s Helpful Drop Pass to Backstrom (Video)

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Backstrom on his back, celebrating.

The Capitals had a tenuous one-goal lead over the Devils until the top line, featuring one Jay Beagle, helped put New Jersey in a two-goal hole.

A snazzy play in an otherwise subdued game.

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Caps at Devils Pregame: Moar Points! Never Enough Points!

At 7 PM tonight the Caps will lace up at Prudential Center in hopes of extending their point streak. Well, hopefully they’ll have laced up sometime before 7 PM or else warm-ups would have been a mess, but you get my point. The game starts at 7.

Okay, the broadcast starts at 7. The game will start at like 7:07 or something, but everyone usually agrees that saying it starts at 7 is sufficient. Unless there’s some kind of pregame ceremony, but why are you even bringing that up, you’re making this way harder than it needs to be.

Caps at Devils at 7:07 ish PM, and with any luck they’ll be wearing ice skates by then.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 15-10-6 51.0% 99.5 26.1% 76.3%
New Jersey Devils 12-16-6 49.7% 100.1 22.2% 77.6%

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Stick Em in a Two-Goal Hole +1: Caps beat Devils 4-1

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Alzner scores, Alzner gets a the top pic (Photo: Julio Cortez)

Secondary scoring lifted the Capitals to a big divisional road win. With Beagle, Alzner, and Kuznetsov hitting twine, the Capitals were able to fell the New Jersey Devils in a taut, kinda fun game (for the Devs) on a Saturday night.

Karl Alzner, yes, Karl Alzner, scored first, cleaning up off the cycle. Patrik Elias got one for the Devils, tapping in Danius Zubrus’ airborne puck. In the second, Jay Beagle scored a highlight-reel backhand goal to put the Caps up, which Evgeny Kuznetsov added to with a snipe on the power play.

The Devils never climbed out of that two-goal hole. Laich made it three with a lay up in the final minute.

Caps beat Devils 4-1.

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Caps at Devils Pregame: Jagr or No Jagr?

Ben Bishop, Jaromir Jagr

The Capitals won a tight, not particularly convincing road game on Thursday night. Tonight at 7 PM, the team continues its road trip with hopes of defeating the New Jersey Devils.

The Devils are a stingy team, best at suppressing shot attempts in both directions, so maybe practice your knitting during this one. It’s on CSN.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 11-10-4 52.1% 98.7 27.5% 74.7%
New Jersey Devils 10-12-4 48.8% 100.9 21.2% 74.8%

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Devils beat Caps 1-0 And There is Nothing to Say

I don’t know what we were expecting from the Caps’ home game against the New Jersey Devils. The Devils are notorious for stifling fun, and the Capitals had Jay Beagle on their top line. Frankly, I blame the NHL.

Nothing happened for nearly fifty minutes, then Braden Holtby made an unwise board-and-out that found Mike Cammaleri. It was barely a hockey game.

Devils beat Caps 1-0.

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