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

Julio Cortez

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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Caps vs Devils Pregame: Top-Line Beagle At It Again

schneider

With three wins in the rear view, the Capitals prepare to host the New Jersey Devils tonight at 7 PM. If you’ve got any anxiety about this game, let me put you at ease: Jay Beagle’s got this.

CSN-DC. Holtby vs Schneider. Take Burra to #thebank.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 7-5-3 52.83% 99.41 28.0% 78.8%
New Jersey Devils 7-7-2 49.55% 101.42 20.4% 66.7%

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That Weird Moment When the Devils Forgot How to Hockey

Vine by @recordsANDradio

At times on Thursday night, it looked like someone put a hex on the New Jersey Devils. The defense-first team surrendered six goals to the Capitals, took a bunch of undisciplined penalties, and didn’t seem like themselves. Then there’s this strange play.

As 23-year-old defenseman Eric Gelinas takes a shot from the point, his attempt is blocked by his own teammate. As the puck dribbles back to him, Gelinas tries dishing it to his defensive partner. He falls over too.

It’s a catastrophe.

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Everybody Scoar: Caps beat Devils 6-2!

Patrick McDermott

Sad Devils, happy Mojo (Photo: Patrick McDermott)

A game against the New Jersey Devils is supposed to be a subdued, low-scoring slough. Instead, the Washington Capitals came out hot, withstood an assault, and then came back even hotter. This team is really good.

Alex Ovechkin needed just half a minute to get on the scoresheet, wristing a rebounder for his fifth goal of the season. The Devils mostly owned that period thanks to two goals by youngblood Damon Severson (both heavily screened), but another newbie, Chris Brown, got one of his own for the Caps.

Marcus Johansson scored during even strength in the second period, which is baffling to me. Nick Backstrom deflected a muffin from Matt Niskanen to put the Devils in a two-goal hole early in the third. The Twins made that even deeper when Joel Ward banked a shot hard off the back boards, then off Cory Schneider’s skates, nothing but net. And then Burakovsky extended his ridiculous goal-scoring streak on the power play.

Caps beat Devils 6-2!

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Caps vs Devils Pregame: New Lines, Old Jagr

jagr-old

Tonight at 7 PM, the Capitals will host the New Jersey Devils at Verizon Center. The Devils are undefeated and looking pretty boss, unless you actually look at how they play, and then they’re kinda boring. The game is on CSN-DC, and you don’t need to worry about there being any conflicts with baseball because… well… yeah.

Team Record Possession PDO Power Play Penalty Kill
Washington Capitals 1-0-2 48.48% 106 30.8% 91.7%
New Jersey Devils 3-0-0 41.88% 119 25% 82.4%

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oates-devils

“Cautiously optimistic” is one of those contorted bits of language that gets tossed about with abandon in Washington. DC loves bad language; the more obfuscatory and non-committal a phrase, the greater its use. Orwell called it “that mixture of vagueness and sheer incompetence,” which makes us laugh because, while Orwell was referring to official British government communications, that seems an even more apt description of the Washington Capitals at several points over the past few years.

Not so this year. The front office, the coaches, Trotz and the team all look like they’re pulling in roughly the same direction. The point is: no modifiers about it. When it comes to the Capitals, call us Optimistic. Ish.

Which brings us to tonight’s tango with the New Jersey Devils (3-0).

Traditionally, this is the point where we trade barbs about the other place we’re playing, noting what a vile and smelly pool of despair it is. But we’re talking about New Jersey here. Saying mean things about New Jersey is like yelling at a sick puppy – it takes no talent and everyone just ends up feeling awful. So let’s just say “New Jersey” and leave it at that.

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Caps beat Devils 3-0 and Marty Erat SCOAR!

no biscuits in the basket

The New Jersey Devils are the worst good team in hockey. For the last thousand years, they’ve mined success by sucking the fun out of hockey. If it feels like the game is less exciting when the Devils are playing, it’s not just you. The team’s style inhibits shooting by both teams– on average almost 20 fewer shot attempts per game. That’s part of why I was a bit mild heading into Saturday’s pre-Olympic finale between the Devs and the Washington Capitals.

The teams traded power plays in the first period without biscuit-basket despositage. The Devils owned the puck for the most the second period, but left the basket unbiscuited. The third period was more of the miserable same until rookie Julien Brouillette put the biscuit in the basket with ten minutes left. The Devils emptied their net and then Marty Erat finally brokered a biscuit-basket merger and then Troy Brouwer was like, “yeah, this basket can handle more biscuits.”

Caps beat Devils 3-0. Braden Holby’s third shutout!

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New Jersey Comeback: Devils beat Caps 5-4 (OT)

Ward celebrates - Patrick McDermott

Look how tiny Jagr looks. (Photo: Patrick McDermott)

I hate the way the Devils play. They stifle offense (i.e. fun, Capitals-style hockey) and execute the trap as if it’s not something to be ashamed of. Luckily, they did it poorly on Saturday night. What I expected to be a low-scoaring affair ended up being a crash-the-net party with a whole lot going on. The Caps exploded in the second period, but the Devils rallied in the third and won it in overtime.

For the Devils’ first shot, Marek Zidlicky got a dart past Braden Holtby on the power play. The Caps struck back with three goals in the second period, starting with Jason Chimera whacking in his own rebound from right under Brodeur’s nose. Mikhail Grabovski caught Eric Fehr’s pass right in the paint and knocked it in to give the Caps the lead, and Joel Ward crashed the net to make it 3-1 going into the third.

Jagr scored in the third period. I don’t want to talk about it. Alex Ovechkin was in the penalty box for that one, but he redeemed himself with an even-strength goal from the slot a few minutes later. The Devils rallied late: Zidlicky got his second of the night with a wide open one-timer, and Dainus Zubrus tied it with eight minutes left. That’s the way it stood at the end of regulation.

Game Over Andy Greene got a lucky bounce in overtime to win it for Jersey and save us all from the shootout.

Devils beat Caps 5-4 (OT).

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