Capitals 5, Devils 2
Scoresheet - Wash Post
Micheal Nylander's second stint in Washington could be something of a enigma. After coming off his successes in New York, Nylander's effort as a Capital has been that of marginal at best. His injury that kept him sidelined for a majority of last season seemed to keep him on the outside looking in. When he did make a return, it still seemed as if he just didn't fit. But you can't deny the skills Nylander has for too long. Maybe facing a former rival in the Devils got his blood boiling as Nylander scores a pair to help the Caps cool down a red hot New Jersey Devils 5-2.
Beside Nylander's tallies, the Caps also got key goals from Mike Green (who now has goals in four straight), Eric Fehr also scored and Brooks Laich got a power play goal. Alex Ovechkin added a pair of assists and Jose Theodore played solid making 32 saves. The Caps had 5 players with two points in tonight's tilt (Nylander 2 goals, Green a goal and an assist, Fehr a goal and an assist, Laich a goal and an assist, Ovi two assists).
A lot could be said about the Devils eight game winning streak and how they may have been ripe for a loss, but the Capitals approached this game as a playoff challenge. The Devils came out a bit sluggish as apparent by trailing early 3-0. When they finally found their grove against the Caps it may have been a bit too little, too late.
Special teams was the story of the game for the Caps as they came away with three power play goals. In fact, the Caps were only stopped once on the powerplay, the very powerplay that the Devils scored shorthanded. While the Caps were deadly with a man advantage, the penalty kill was okay. They did allow a power play goal on a 5 on 3, but were able to kill off everything else.
If the Capitals keep up their power play fortunes, teams will have to watch what they do against the Capitals offence. That should open up the play for them and allow them to be more dominating with the puck. It just makes it that much harder to stop the Capitals' offensive machine.
The Caps get a monster win that they really needed. The win solidifies their second place standing in the East. With Boston playing the way they are, the Caps are going to need every point they can grasp. That means this team needs to flat out win.
Photo by Jim McIsaac, Getty Images