After a disappointing home opener last night, the New Jersey Devils are right back at it tonight, as they face the Capitals, at the Rock.
What’s the best case to cure a hangover, drink more. In the case of the Devils, it would be to play the next game.
That’s what the NHL has done, scheduling their next game for tonight.
After being spoiled in their home opener on Friday night thanks to the Winnipeg Jets, it’s the Devils turn to spoil someone else’s. The team will visit the nation’s capital, as they are tonight’s guests of the Washington Capitals, a division rival whom will be making their season debut and home opener at the Verizon Center.
Last season, New Jersey was heavily outscored 17-6 in five games versus Washington. The Devils lost four of those games, by four or more goals. The high-flying style of the Capitals, led by Alexander Ovechkin, dominated last season’s series between the two teams.
Capitals leading scorer, Nicklas Backstrom, will not be in the lineup tonight, still recovering from offseason hip surgery. However, Washington does have some new toys to show-off in the form of T.J. Oshie and Justin Williams. Much is expected for these two players, as they look to push the Capitals over the hump this season.
But before they can do that, the home team will have something to say about it. As last night proved, this is a different Devils team. They are not lethargic and a skate-behind-their-man, as in season’s past. Despite the 3-1 loss Friday night, New Jersey was moving the puck and had plenty of scoring chances. The score could have easily been in the Devils favor.
Cory Schneider, who played brilliantly despite facing an offensive barrage, stopped 27 of 30 shots against the Jets. And two of those were long-distance wrist shots that could have been stopped.
To go along with last night’s misses, Mike Cammalleri missed a wide-open net opportunity.
If the Devils come out with the same intensity they played with last night, the scoring chances will be there, and it will only be a matter of time before they get their first win.
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