UNSUPPORTED BROWSER
NHL

Capitals-Devils Preview

Washington's recent surge already includes a win at New Jersey, and it's been almost 16 years since the Capitals won two straight over the Devils in the Garden State.

The Capitals look to continue piling up the points Saturday night with their second victory over the Devils in two weeks.

Washington (15-10-6) has put together a 5-0-2 stretch, including a 4-1 road win over the Devils (12-16-6) on Dec. 16. The Capitals haven't won back-to-back visits to New Jersey in a single season since January and February 1999.

However, Washington has won four of five away from home after Eric Fehr scored 42 seconds into overtime for a 5-4 victory at Columbus on Thursday. The Capitals squandered a 2-0 first-period lead, but rallied twice in the third and forced the extra session on Troy Brouwer's tally with 3:00 to play.

"I like the character," coach Barry Trotz said. "I like the fact that we grabbed the momentum back. Any time they grabbed the momentum, we just grabbed it back."

Brouwer's clutch goal was part of a recent surge in which he's scored four times in five games after finding the net once over the previous 12. The right wing has 10 goals on the season, but none in eight career games at New Jersey.

Nicklas Backstrom leads the Capitals with 31 points, but he's mustered only two in his past 11 road meetings with the Devils.

Alex Ovechkin has been much better with five goals in six games, but he was held off the scoresheet and had just one shot at New Jersey on Dec. 6.

The Devils ended a five-game home skid with Friday's 3-2 shootout win over Atlantic Division-leading Tampa Bay and will now try to win back-to-back games for the first time since beating Minnesota at home and Washington on the road from Nov. 11-14.

Keith Kinkaid got his first career win by making 26 saves and turning aside all three attempts in the tiebreaker against the Lightning.

"He was really solid," coach Pete DeBoer said. "He played with confidence. He gave our group confidence.

"It was a huge win. We really needed it. It was a gutsy win. I don't think there were too many people picking us. We found a way."

New Jersey, though, may go back to Cory Schneider in net, but he's lost three straight starts with a 3.03 goals-against average. He stopped 25 of 28 shots against Washington earlier this month after winning three of the previous five matchups behind a 1.70 GAA.

Patrik Elias had a goal before injuring his groin against Washington on Dec. 6. The center has played two games since, scoring his fourth goal of the season Friday before netting the only successful shootout attempt.

Adam Henrique also had a goal against the Lightning to snap a five-game drought. He's scored just twice in 12 career matchups with the Capitals and was held without a point with a minus-2 rating Dec. 6.

Promoted Stories
Comments

More NHL

SI.com

Drag this icon to your bookmark bar.
Then delete your old SI.com bookmark.

SI.com

Click the share icon to bookmark us.