7:09 pm
November 30

Devils @ Capitals

Who will WIN this matchup?

New Jersey Devils (9-10-4)

@ Washington Capitals (14-7-3)


Starting Goalies:

Keith Kinkaid (NJ): Confirmed

Braden Holtby (WSH): Likely


Current odds:

New Jersey Devils: (+140)

Washington Capitals: (-160)


 The surging Washington Capitals could get a very important player back in the lineup when they go after a seventh straight victory Friday night against the visiting New Jersey Devils. Center Evgeny Kuznetsov, who recorded 21 points in the first 18 games before missing the last six with a head injury, skated with the Capitals on Thursday and is awaiting official medical clearance. Captain Alex Ovechkin, who leads the Capitals with 18 goals and shares the team lead in points with Nicklas Backstrom sat out Thursday’s practice, but is expected to be in the lineup as Washington tries to avenge a 6-0 loss to New Jersey on Oct. 11.

• The Devils won that game during a 4-0-0 start to the season, but have dropped 14 of 19 since (5-10-4) and lost all four overtime games this season after falling 4-3 in the extra session at Florida on Monday. “It’s been different situations, different guys, different things,” New Jersey coach John Hynes told reporters of the overtime struggles. “. … The last couple of games, we lost the first face-offs and (Monday) we won the first face-off, had possession. We’ll continue to work at it.”

•  In addition to its struggles in overtime, New Jersey needs to improve on the power play which has sputtered to 1-of-23 over the last 11 games and dropped to 15th in the league at 20.3 percent. Left wing Taylor Hall recorded five of his team-leading 24 points in the last four games while right wing Kyle Palmieri has only one of his 21 in the past six contests. The Devils lost Jean-Sebastien Dea on waivers this week and fellow forward Michael MacLeod, a 2016 first-round pick, was recalled and is expected to make his NHL debut Friday.

• Goalie Braden Holtby has played a big part in Washington’s revival, allowing four goals on 126 shots combined in four straight wins to improve his save percentage to .917. Backstrom leads the team with 22 assists and has 11 over the past 13 games to tie Ovechkin for the team lead in points while power forward Tom Wilson boasts 12 points in eight games since returning from a long suspension. Defenseman John Carlson registered eight of his 21 assists in the last six games and is second on the team with a plus-10 rating.

• New Jersey C Travis Zajac (seven goals, seven assists) is mired in a six-game point drought.

• Washington D Michal Kempny (upper body), who leads the team with a plus-11 rating, is expected to play Friday.

• Devils F Marcus Johansson could return to the lineup Friday after missing Monday’s game with a leg injury.

StreakSmarter Pick
Washington Capitals