Game 5 Preview: Caps v. New Jersey Devils

Posted by Dave Nichols | Friday, October 17, 2008 | , , | 0 comments »

After their dramatic third period comeback against Pittsburgh Thursday night, the Washington Capitals (3-1-0) return home -- albeit briefly -- for a match-up with Atlantic Division foe New Jersey Devils (3-1-0) at Verizon center at 7:30 pm.

The Caps are riding a three-game win streak after falling on opening night and enter this contest tied for first with the St. Louis Blues and the New York Rangers for most goals on the young season with 17. Washington has yet to score fewer than four goals in a game, despite last year's Hart Trophy winner, Alex Ovechkin, scoring just twice in four games. In the most recent game against the Penguins, the team got one goal each from Alexander Semin, Michael Nylander, Tomas Fleischmann and Boyd Gordon, who netted the game-winner with less than five minutes to play.

Washington does come into this contest banged up, however. Forward Viktor Kozlov is out with a left leg injury and tough guy Donald Brashear is day-to-day with a hand injury as well. On the blue line, Tom Poti left the Pittsburgh game with a strained groin, and it's unknown at this point how long he may be out. Late Friday, the team recalled F Chris Bourque from AHL Hershey, which indicates that Coach Bruce Boudreau will have Sergei Federov move to defense while Poti is out. Boudreau did not tip his hand as to how he would mix up his forward lines for the game.

New Jersey is led, as always, by G Martin Brodeur. The veteran notched his 97th career shutout Thursday at Atlanta, 1-0, stopping all 25 shots on goal. He'll have to be sharp for the Devils again, as they've managed to score just six times in four games. Zack Parise and Patrik Elias own four of the Devils six goals, and C Brian Rolston (1-1-2, +1), who scored NJ's lone marker Thursday was helped off the ice after going into the boards awkwardly, spraining his ankle, and is questionable for weekend play.

Brent Johnson, who beat Vancouver 5-1 last Monday for his 100th NHL victory, will be between the pipes for the Caps.


CAPS: LW Alexander Semin (4-4-8, +5); C Michael Nylander (2-4-6, +2), D Mike Green (3-2-5, +5)

DEVILS: LW Zack Parise (2-1-3, +1); LW Patrik Elias (2-0-2, +1), D Colin White (0-1-1, +4), G Martin Brodeur (3-1-0, 1.23, .944)


CAPS: LW Alex Ovechkin (2 goals in 20 SOGs in four games), Nicklas Backstrom (0-1-1, +1), Chris Clark (0-1-1, -1)

DEVILS: RW Jamie Langenbrunner (0-0-0, -1); C Bobby Holik (0-0-0, even)


CAPS: LW Viktor Kozlov (knee) out; LW Donald Brashear (hand) day-to-day; D Tom Poti (groin) questionable.

DEVILS: C Brian Rolston (ankle) questionable; RW Barry Tallackson (irregular heartbeat) out.