The Washington Capitals will travel to the Prudential Center on Thursday evening to take on the New Jersey Devils in a Metropolitan Division matchup. The Capitals are tied for second in the division (2-0-1, 5 points) and are coming off a 6-3 home win on Tuesday against the Colorado Avalanche. The Devils are tied for fourth in the division (2-0-0, 4 points) and are coming off a 4-2 home win over the Seattle Kraken on Tuesday.
These teams have been some of the best in the early stages of the year so it will be interesting to see how they take off here. Let’s take a deeper dive into the matchup to determine where we should be placing our bets.
Franchise StarThe Washington Capitals have been playing very well in the early stages of this season and one reason has been the play of left wing Alex Ovechkin, who has been playing extremely well to begin the season. The team is essentially healthy as they only have Nicklas Backstrom is out with a hip injury. Ovechkin is tied for sixth in the NHL in points and tied for third in the NHL in goals as he has six points (four goals, two assists) this season. In his last game against the Colorado Avalanche, he finished with a goal on two shots in 17:21 on the ice. Ovechkin has shown the ability to be one of the best players and it’ll be time to see if the Devils can stop him on the defensive side in this game.
After completing a three-game season opening homestand with a 6-3 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday night in D.C., the Caps take to the road for the first time in the 2021-22 season.https://t.co/4wGzXb2n6X— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 20, 2021
Vitek Vanecek has been the starting goalie for the Washington Capitals this season and has been doing well. In his last game against the Tampa Bay Lightning, he allowed two goals on 24 shots in an overtime loss. On the season, he allowed three goals in 48 shots. Washington has allowed six goals this season, which is sixth in the league. They have been above-average against opposing power plays as they have killed 8-of-10 (80 percent) of them so far this season. The Devils are a lesser offense in the league so this will be a chance for the Capitals to improve in the Metropolitan Division.
Step Up and Be Hughes
Jonathan Bernier is the starting goalie in the net this season for the Devils and has been playing pretty well thus far. In his last game against the Seattle Kraken, he allowed a pair of goals on 29 shots. On the season, he allowed five goals on 56 shots. New Jersey, as a team, has allowed five goals this season, which is fourth in the league. They need to be better at killing power plays as they have allowed three power play goals in just 10 opportunities (70 kill percentage). Washington shoots the puck well so it’ll be interesting to see how this game unfolds.
- New Jersey: 7-20 in their last 27 home games
- New Jersey: 16-35 in their last 51 games as an underdog
- Washington: 21-5 in their last 26 games as a favorite
- Washington: 17-7 in their last 24 road games