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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Saturday, December 21st (All times Eastern)

New Jersey Devils (14-15-7) at Washington Capitals (19-13-3), 7 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - Alex Ovechkin reached an impressive career milestone in a road win on Friday and he'll try to lead the Washington Capitals to a second straight victory when they host the New Jersey Devils in Saturday's clash at Verizon Center.

Washington had lost two of three heading into Friday's away game against the Carolina Hurricanes, but the Capitals earned a 4-2 decision by going 3-for-4 on the power play.

The only goal that didn't come on the man advantage for the Caps on Friday was Ovechkin's empty-netter with 25 seconds left. The insurance tally was the 400th goal of Ovechkin's career and the Russian sniper became the sixth- fastest to reach that mark in NHL history. Ovechkin was playing in his 634th NHL game, meaning only Wayne Gretzky (436 games), Mike Bossy (506 games), Mario Lemieux (508 games), Brett Hull (520 games) and Jari Kurri (608 games) reached the 400-goal mark quicker.

Ovechkin is leading the NHL with 29 goals this season and he has recorded 13 markers and 34 points in 29 career games against the Devils.

Nicklas Backstrom collected four assists for the Capitals, who got a 39-save performance from Philipp Grubauer. Marcus Johansson, John Carlson and Troy Brouwer all scored power-play goals in Friday's win.

"We did some good things to earn the power plays and that can't get overlooked," said Washington head coach Adam Oates. "Yeah, we lived off the power play, but we also had zone time to earn those power plays."

Washington is ranked second in the NHL in power-play efficiency, scoring on 26.3 percent of its opportunities with the man advantage. Only Pittsburgh (26.8 percent) has a better power-play unit this season.

This evening's matchup is the first of four scheduled meetings between the Devils and Capitals this season. It's also the first encounter for the teams as members of the Metropolitan Division, which was created for this season's realignment plan.

The Devils won two of three against Washington last season, but the Caps took the last encounter by a 5-1 score when the clubs met in D.C. on Feb. 23. New Jersey has taken six of the last 10 overall encounters in this series, but the Capitals have won four of seven and five of the last nine at the Verizon Center.

New Jersey had a two-game win streak snapped on Friday, as it lost a 3-2 overtime decision against the visiting Anaheim Ducks. Kyle Palmieri, who grew up in New Jersey, potted the game-winner 2:37 into overtime to lift the Ducks to the close win at Prudential Center.

Andy Greene and Michael Ryder scored a goal apiece for the Devils, while Cory Schneider allowed all three goals on 24 shots in the loss.

"We wanted that second point, we really did," Greene said. "We have to forget about it now and just get ready for Washington tomorrow."

New Jersey has struggled on the road this season, going 7-10-3 away from the Garden State. Washington, meanwhile, has a stout 12-7-0 mark in D.C.

Devils forward Damien Brunner suffered a right knee injury in Friday's loss and is questionable for tonight's game.

12/21 11:01:42 ET

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Schedule

Thursday, April 17Full Scoreboard
Philadelphia1Final | Box
NY Rangers «4Rink Replay
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. New York leads series, 1-0.
Chicago3Final(OT3) | Box
St. Louis «4Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. St. Louis leads series, 1-0.
Minnesota4Final(OT) | Box
Colorado «5Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Colorado leads series, 1-0.
Los Angeles3Final | Box
San Jose «6Rink Replay
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. San Jose leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard

Standings

2013 - 2014 NHL Eastern Conference Standings
 
Atlantic Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
p-Boston 54 19 9 117 261 177 31-7-3 23-12-6 18-9-3
x-Tampa Bay 46 27 9 101 240 215 25-10-6 21-17-3 19-8-3
x-Montreal 46 28 8 100 215 204 23-13-5 23-15-3 18-8-4
x-Detroit 39 28 15 93 222 230 18-13-10 21-15-5 17-8-5
Ottawa 37 31 14 88 236 265 18-17-6 19-14-8 14-9-7
Toronto 38 36 8 84 231 256 24-16-1 14-20-7 14-13-3
Florida 29 45 8 66 196 268 16-20-5 13-25-3 13-16-1
Buffalo 21 51 10 52 157 248 13-21-7 8-30-3 7-18-5
 
Metropolitan Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Pittsburgh 51 24 7 109 249 207 28-9-4 23-15-3 20-8-2
x-NY Rangers 45 31 6 96 218 193 20-17-4 25-14-2 16-11-3
x-Philadelphia 42 30 10 94 236 235 24-14-3 18-16-7 15-11-4
x-Columbus 43 32 7 93 231 216 22-15-4 21-17-3 16-13-1
Washington 38 30 14 90 235 240 21-13-7 17-17-7 12-15-3
New Jersey 35 29 18 88 197 208 21-11-9 14-18-9 16-9-5
Carolina 36 35 11 83 207 230 18-17-6 18-18-5 15-13-2
NY Islanders 34 37 11 79 225 267 13-19-9 21-18-2 10-16-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
2013 - 2014 NHL Western Conference Standings
 
Central Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
y-Colorado 52 22 8 112 250 220 26-11-4 26-11-4 19-6-3
x-St. Louis 52 23 7 111 248 191 28-9-4 24-14-3 21-6-2
x-Chicago 46 21 15 107 267 220 27-7-7 19-14-8 13-13-3
x-Minnesota 43 27 12 98 207 206 26-10-5 17-17-7 14-12-3
x-Dallas 40 31 11 91 235 228 23-11-7 17-20-4 13-11-5
Nashville 38 32 12 88 216 242 19-17-5 19-15-7 12-13-4
Winnipeg 37 35 10 84 227 237 18-17-6 19-18-4 9-15-5
 
Pacific Division W L OTL Pts GF GA Home Away Div
z-Anaheim 54 20 8 116 266 209 29-8-4 25-12-4 22-4-3
x-San Jose 51 22 9 111 249 200 29-7-5 22-15-4 18-7-3
x-Los Angeles 46 28 8 100 206 174 23-14-4 23-14-4 16-10-3
Phoenix 37 30 15 89 216 231 22-14-5 15-16-10 14-9-6
Vancouver 36 35 11 83 196 223 20-15-6 16-20-5 12-13-4
Calgary 35 40 7 77 209 241 19-19-3 16-21-4 11-15-3
Edmonton 29 44 9 67 203 270 16-22-3 13-22-6 8-17-4
 
x= clinched playoff berth
y= clinched division title
z= clinched overall points title
  • NASL: RailHawks vs. Ft. Lauderdale

    Tomorrow at 7:30 am on WRAL-2

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: RBC Heritage

    Sunday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Zurich Classic of New Orleans

    Saturday at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • MLB: Atlanta Braves at NY Mets

    Tomorrow at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

  • MLB: Baltimore Orioles at Boston Red Sox

    Sunday at 7:05 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
Final
DUR 3
NOR 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
PHI 1
ATL 0
Final
DET 7
CLE 5
Final
MIN 7
TOR 0
Final
TEX 8
SEA 6
Final
SFG 1
LOS 2
Final
SDP 1
COL 3
Final
PIT 11
MIL 2
Final
WAS 0
STL 8
Final
TAM 2
NYY 10
Final
MIN 9
TOR 5
Final
CWS 1
BOS 3
Final
HOU 1
KAN 5
2:20pm Today
CHC
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
MIL
 
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
STL
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
TOR
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
ANA
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
ATL
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
BAL
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
SEA
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
CWS
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
MIN
 
8:40pm Tonight
COL
PHI
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
HOU
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
ARI
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
SFG
 
Final
NYR 4
PHI 1
Final
STL 4
CHI 3
Final
COL 5
MIN 4
Final
SJS 6
LOS 3
7:00pm Tonight
TAM
MON
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
DET
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
DAL
Final
DUR 3
NOR 2
 
7:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR