Devils-Capitals Preview

The Washington Capitals have remained a force at home despite

Alex Ovechkin’s goal drought.

Another meeting with the New Jersey Devils could get the

superstar going at the Verizon Center.

Ovechkin looks to build on yet another road goal and help the

Capitals complete a sweep of this home-and-home set with the Devils

on Saturday night.

Washington (10-4-0) has won six of seven home games after going

25-8-8 to lead the Eastern Conference with 58 points as host last


The Capitals have continued their success at Verizon Center even

with Ovechkin searching for his first goal there this season. He

has five assists at home with four coming on the power play.

Saturday could be the perfect time for Ovechkin to get that

first home goal since the two-time league MVP has seven goals and

12 assists in his last 10 games against the Devils (7-6-1). He has

four and seven in his past five home matchups.

Ovechkin scored his team-leading seventh goal in Washington’s

3-1 victory at New Jersey on Friday. It was the fifth win in six

games overall against the Devils for the Capitals, who have

outscored New Jersey 16-4 in winning three straight meetings in the

nation’s capital.

“The Devils are always a tough test,” left wing Jason Chimera

said. “We always seem to get up for games with them.”

Chimera’s production certainly reinforces his claim. He’s scored

three goals the past five games with New Jersey, and netted a

short-handed tally early in the third period Friday to end an

eight-game drought.

Improvement on special teams will be key for the Devils as they

try to gain a split of this home-and-home set after their

three-game winning streak was snapped Friday.

New Jersey and Montreal have allowed a league-high three

short-handed goals, but the Devils have surrendered one in each of

the last two games.

New Jersey’s power play also ranks at the bottom of the Eastern

Conference, going 5 for 45 after failing to convert on all five

chances Friday.

“I think it’s a big problem,” coach Peter DeBoer said. “We’re

all working and pushing for one, because the goals haven’t been

coming easy. So you tend to push a little extra for that goal and

you get burned by it. It’s obvious we have to find a way to get the

power play going.”

Not having Ilya Kovalchuk for at least one more game may hamper

the power play again. The star left wing is expected to miss a

fourth game in a row with an undisclosed lower-body injury, leaving

New Jersey without its second-highest scorer at nine points.

Patrik Elias leads the team with six goals and eight assists and

set up rookie defenseman Adam Larsson’s first career score against

the Capitals on Friday.

Elias has two goals and three assists in his last five games

against Washington.