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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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Hurricanes

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Florida

    Tomorrow at 2:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • PGA: Waste Management Phoenix Open

    Tomorrow at 3:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • Big 10: Michigan at Michigan State

    Sunday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. St. Louis

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • ACC: NC State at Georgia Tech

    Tomorrow at 12:00 pm on WRAL-FM

  • NHL: Carolina Hurricanes at NY Rangers

    Tomorrow at 7:00 pm on 99.9 The Fan

Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
STL
Final
ORL 100
MIL 115
Final
IND 103
NYK 82
Final
MEM 99
DEN 69
Final
LAL 123
CHI 118
7:00pm Tonight
PHI
MIN
7:30pm Tonight
BOS
HOU
7:30pm Tonight
ATL
POR
7:30pm Tonight
CLE
SAC
7:30pm Tonight
BRK
TOR
8:00pm Tonight
MIA
DAL
8:00pm Tonight
NOP
LAC
9:00pm Tonight
UTA
GSW
10:30pm Tonight
PHO
CHI
Final
PROV 83
DEP 72
Final
RUTG 51
MSU 71
Final
ARMY 71
BU 67
 
Final
RFLSH 75
BRY 68
 
Final
MERC 75
CHAT 72
 
Final
LIU 67
CCST 55
 
Final
TOWS 74
COC 70
 
Final
UMASS 66
DAY 64
Final
FUR 59
ETST 55
 
Final
ODU 71
FIU 56
Final
RMU 87
FD 65
 
Final
CHAR 86
FATL 61
Final
LIB 53
HIGH 72
 
Final
UNF 86
KNST 67
 
Final
FLGC 78
LIP 62
 
Final
OSU 80
MD 56
Final
Terriers 73
MNTER 67
 
Final
STET 85
NKENTUCKY 75
 
Final
WAGN 75
SHU 64
 
Final
GMAS 68
STLU 60
Final
JVU 65
USCU 78
 
Final
VMI 70
WCU 85
 
Final
LATU 69
WKENT 56
Final
UNCG 42
WOFF 58
 
Final
DET 93
YOUNG 87
 
Final
GSOUT 83
APP 46
 
Final
TENNM 81
EILL 51
 
Final
GHND 64
HC 54
 
Final
CIN 70
UCONN 58
Final
NDST 61
DEN 54
 
Final
SD 55
MAST 66
 
Final
UWMIL 71
ILLCH 65
 
Final
BEL 103
JVST 82
 
Final
SMISS 54
MARS 69
Final
TXSA 69
MTST 58
Final
PETE 49
RIDE 58
 
Final
SEMIZ 61
SIUE 75
 
Final
TENST 64
TENT 56
 
Final
NDAK 60
WEBER 67
 
Final
SALA 89
LALAF 85
 
Final
ARKST 65
ARKLR 75
 
Final
TROY 55
LAMON 58
 
Final
TXARL 74
UGST 88
 
Final
MURST 85
EKENT 78
 
Final
NCOL 79
IDST 76
 
Final
MIZZ 53
KENT 69
Final
GONZ 64
PORT 46
Final
UTEP 71
UAB 69
Final
GRCN 78
UMKC 57
 
Final
WLVRN 78
CHIST 62
 
Final
USC 94
COL 98
Final
UCI 67
CPSL 57
 
Final
CSNO 73
HAW 84
 
Final
PAC 43
PEPP 50
 
Final
SDU 69
SCU 64
 
Final
UCD 70
UCSB 64
 
Final
UCLA 69
UTAH 59
Final
PORST 54
MONT 73
 
Final
SACST 75
MNTST 59
 
Final
CSFU 85
LBSU 91
 
Final
GAELS 68
LMU 54
 
Final
WASU 67
CAL 76
Final
BYU 78
USF 74
 
6:00pm Tonight
PRIN
HARV
 
7:00pm Tonight
CORN
BRO
 
7:00pm Tonight
PENN
DART
 
7:00pm Tonight
NIAG
MAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CAN
QUIN
 
7:00pm Tonight
MAN
SIENA
 
8:00pm Tonight
WILL
IUPUI
 
8:00pm Tonight
FAIR
MON
 
8:00pm Tonight
ARST
OREG
8:00pm Tonight
CLMB
YALE
 
10:00pm Tonight
BUF
KSU
 
10:00pm Tonight
ARZ
ORST
Final
NYI 2
BOS 5
Final
NYR 0
MON 1
Final
PHI 5
WIN 2
Final
TOR 1
ARI 3
Final
FLA 3
CLB 2
Final
TAM 5
DET 1
Final
STL 5
NAS 4
Final
CAL 0
MIN 1
Final
SJS 6
ANA 3
7:00pm Tonight
NJD
PIT
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
STL
9:00pm Tonight
COL
NAS
 
10:00pm Tonight
VAN
BUF
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
CHI