New Jersey Devils (14-15-7) at Washington Capitals (19-13-3)
|Date & Time||Saturday December 21, 2013, 7:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Washington Capitals -142 / New Jersey Devils +129 --- Over/Under: 5.5
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The New Jersey Devils were looking for their third consecutive victory on Friday night against the Anaheim Ducks but came up just a little short. Andy Greene's power play goal late in the third period tied the game at 2-2 before the Devils fell in overtime. Michael Ryder scored his 10th goal of the year in the second period and Cory Schneider made 21 saves in the loss. It's good for the Devils to see Ryder starting to get things going because this club can't keep relying on an eldery Jaromir Jagr to be their best offensive piece for the duration of the season. Travis Zajac and Damien Brunner have contributed at times but this is still a team that just seems to be average on all accounts. Head coach Peter Deboer continues to split the work load in goal between Schneider and Martin Brodeur and there just hasn't been a long stretch of solid hockey played. For New Jersey it's constantly been two steps forward and one step back and it's hard to see that changing anytime soon. The Devils will have a chance to make up some ground in the Metropolitan Division but it will be tough when they head to Washington to take on the Capitals. Washington got second period goals from Marcus Johansson, John Carlson, and Troy Brouwer as they took down the Carolina Hurricanes 4-2 on Friday night. Alexander Ovechkin sealed the win with his 29th goal of the season into an empty net. It's incredible how dominant Ovechkin has been since the second half of last season when everyone was talking about how he's no longer the same player he once was. Whatever it was that was ailing Ovechkin and causing his struggles are a thing of the past and he's back to being the most dominant goal scorer i nthe league. It's still hard to envision this Capitals club doing anything in the post season because we've seen them come up short year after year but they certainly have what it takes to put themselves back in a position to try. The Metropolitan Division can't get out of it's own way and if the Capitals keep up this kind of play they should be in the playoffs at the end of the year. Meetings with teams like the Devils on Saturday night will go a long way toward determining the outcome in this division.