DEVILS (3-0-0) @ CAPITALS (1-0-2)
NHL.com Preview :
TV: MSG PLUS 2, CSN-DC
Season series: The New Jersey Devils won three of the four games between the teams last season. The Washington Capitals used three different goalies, but Cory Schneider started three times against them and allowed five goals. Schneider and Washington's Braden Holtby each had shutouts in the series.
Devils team scope: New Jersey will have the chance to join either the San Jose Sharks or NEW YORK Islanders (who play each other) as the only teams in the NHL to start the season 4-0-0. The Devils had their offensive struggles last season, but New Jersey racked up 11 goals in the first two games before showing the ability to still play a tight-checking, defensive style to slow down the high-powered offense of the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Devils are leaning on a trio of young defensemen, including rookie Damon Severson and sophomore Jon Merrill, but New Jersey is sixth in the League in goals against per game. Schneider has started all three games and looks the part of an elite goaltender in what should be the first season of his career as the unquestioned No. 1.
Capitals team scope: Washington looked very good in a 4-0 WIN against the Boston Bruins, and pretty good in a season-opening shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens. The third game, a 6-5 shootout loss to the San Jose Sharks, was a bit of a mess. The Capitals can still score in bunches, and Alex Ovechkin has four goals in three games. The new-look defense corps has been a mixed bag, with Matt Niskanen and Karl Alzner quickly forming a productive partnership. John Carlson and Brooks Orpik have struggled at times, particularly against San Jose, but have also drawn the bulk of the toughest assignments. Those four have freed up Mike Green to play on the third pair and his offensive impact has been significant with two goals and an assist in two games played.
Practice Lines :
Camm - Zajac - Jagr Ovechkin - Backstrom - Brouwer
Havlat - Elias- Zubs Johansson - Burakovsky - Laich
Clowe - Henrique - Ryder Chimera - Fehr - Ward
Ruutu - Gionta - Tootoo EX: Brunner, Yayo Brown - Kuznetsov - O'brien
Greene - Severson Orpik - Carlson
Sal - Zid Alzner - Niskanen
Gelly - Merril EX: Larsson Schmidt - Green
Schneider (Starter) - Clemmer Holtby (Starter) - Peters