New Jersey Devils at Washington Capitals

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The Capitals had their long win streak come to an end in their last game and look to get back in the W column facing the Devils, who have won their last two games.

After a four-game skid, the Devils have won four of their last five games including their last two. They are still in second to last place in the East Division 16 points back of Washington and 18 points back of the New York Islanders. The main issue for New Jersey on the season has been scoring the puck, as they only rank 26th in the league in goals per game (2.50).

The Capitals had won seven straight before losing their last game. The team is only two points out of first place in the East and the last time they faced the Devils it was at home beating them in OT 5-4. Unlike the Devils, Washington’s attack has been legit on the season ranking fourth in the NHL averaging 3.35 goals per game.

Two For the Road

The Devils have won their last two road games and their last one was scheduled at home but postponed due to COVID-19. In their last game, they beat the Philadelphia Flyers 4-3 where they were up 4-1 entering the third period where they gave up two goals but hung on for the win. Four different players lit the lamp in the win and Yegor Sharangovich and Travis Zajac each had a goal and an assist.

Mackenzie Blackwood (8-8-1 2.91 GAA) gave up three goals on 33 shots and the Devils have won his last three starts. Scott Wedgewood (3-4-3 2.59 GAA) may get the nod in this game and New Jersey has lost three of his last four starts.

No player for the Devils has scored double digits in goals and Miles Wood (9 goals) is the only player with more than seven. Pavel Zacha leads the team with only 18 points and he has one assist in his last five games. Ty Smith has 17 points, had two assists in the last game, and has four assists over his last five games. On the season the Devils have been a much better team on the road (8-3-2) than at home (4-11-2).

Dominating the Devils

The Caps look to keep up their domination of the Devils, as they have won all five games facing them this season. The club had their seven-game win streak snapped in their last game, which was at home, falling to the New York Rangers 3-1. The game was tied until late when Washington game up a goal and then New York added an empty-net goal with less than 30 seconds remaining. John Carlson scored his seventh of the season in the losing effort and Ilya Samsonov (6-1-1 2.48 GAA) gave up two goals on 22 shots. The Caps had won his previous four starts, but I think top G Vitek Vanecek (13.5-3 2.66 GAA) will get the start against the Devils and he has only given up one goal in his last two starts.

Alex Ovechkin (14 goals) had scored five goals in four games before being held scoreless in the last game and he is listed as day-to-day with an injury. Nicklas Backstrom is the team leader in points (34) and assists (22) and he has two goals and three assists over his last five games. The Caps are 10-4-2 at home this season.

The Bottom Line
What to bet on this game.

Full-Game Side Bet
Rating:

The Caps have won all five games facing the Devils this season and while New Jersey will snap that skid sometime that time will not be in this game. Washington is on the heels of the Islanders in the East and at home, they will want to keep pace with them facing a Devils team they have beaten in 13 of the last 16 games on home ice. The Caps are a more balanced team and while the Devils are playing well as of late they do not have the attack to keep up with Washington. Look for the Caps to come out firing in this game after losing their last one and they will convincingly beat the Devils for the sixth time this season. Since the Caps will win in a convincing manner take the puck line for better odds.

Prediction:
Capitals – Puck Line -1.5 goals +130

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Full-Game Total Pick
Rating:

In six of the last eight games between these teams in the Nation’s Capital, the total has gone Over and I am sticking with that trend. Washington’s high-octane offense was stymied in their last game only scoring one goal, but I look for them to put on an offensive showing in this one. The Devils have played pretty good D as of late but that will change in this game facing the Caps and their many scoring options. Look for Washington to light the lamp quite a few times and for the Devils to chime in for at least two goals and in a game where defense will be at a premium the Over is the pick.

Prediction:
Over 6 goals