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The Capitals look to extend their recent dominance over the Devils

The Capitals look to extend their recent dominance over the Devils

The Capitals have enjoyed a lot of success against the New Jersey Devils in recent years. In the last 20 meetings between these two teams, Washington is 16-2-2 and 7-1-1 in its last nine visits to Newark. The Caps will look to extend that dominance on Tuesday when they travel to New Jersey (7:30 p.m., NBC Sports Washington).

You can count the Devils among the teams Alex Ovechkin has tormented over the years. In 52 career games, he has scored 25 goals and 32 assists for 57 total points. And in those 52 games, New Jersey has not always been as bad as they are this season.

The Devils sit dead last in the Metropolitan Division standings with a record of 27-37-9. All signs seem to point to a win for the Caps. There’s just one problem.

Washington may be 7-1-1 in its last nine road games against New Jersey but those two losses were the last two times the Caps played in Newark. That’s right, the Caps have a two-game losing streak on the road in New Jersey. Granted, one of those games was last season, but the lone loss from this season was a whopping 6-0 blowout on Oct. 11.

With a rematch against the Tampa Bay Lightning looming on Wednesday, Washington cannot afford a similar result.

Game notes

Pheonix rising

The Caps last played New Jersey on March 8 in a game that everyone assumed Pheonix Copley would start. Instead, Braden Holtby was between the pipes and Copley played the following game against the Winnipeg Jets. With a back-to-back against the Devils and Lightning, head coach Todd Reirden elected not to gamble this time and Copley will start Tuesday saving Holtby for Wednesday.

The Djoos is loose

There have not been many lineup changes in recent weeks, but Reirden is shaking things up a bit.

Based on Tuesday’s morning skate it looks like Travis Boyd is out with Chandler Stephenson moving to the wing and Nic Dowd coming back in at center. On defense, Christian Djoos is back in for the first time since Feb. 23. He will play on the left of the third defensive pair with Nick Jensen. This will be the first time those two have played together.

This could potentially be a big game for Djoos. He has not played since the trade deadline and it certainly appears that Reirden has a Brooks Orpik, Jensen pairing penciled in for the playoffs. Getting Djoos back in may be more about giving Orpik a night off before back-to-back games, but he has to take advantage. With only 10 games left in the season, he may not get another opportunity.

Walking wounded

The Devils aren’t just bad, they’re beaten up. New Jersey will be without a number of key players on Tuesday according to reports.

Must win for the Metro

The Caps are dead even with the New York Islanders for first place in the Metropolitan Division. Both teams have played 72 games, both have 91 points, both have a ROW of 38. In case you haven’t heard, the Caps’ schedule is pretty brutal down the stretch. New Jersey is obviously the worst team the Caps have left to play.

A bad team with a bunch of injuries in the middle of a tough schedule while Washington is tied for first place in the division? I may hate the term “must win” in a non-elimination scenario, but if the Caps hope to win the division, these are two points they just have to have.


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How to watch: Capitals vs. Hurricanes preseason Game 3

How to watch: Capitals vs. Hurricanes preseason Game 3

The Washington Capitals remain undefeated in preseason play, thanks to Tom Wilson's clutch overtime goal and a Nicklas Backstrom bouncing saucer-pass-turned-shot

Saturday night, the Caps will get their first crack at the Carolina Hurricanes, who knocked them out in the first round of the playoffs last season. This game is also the first one that comes after the Caps whittled their roster down after the first round of cuts, which included Caps 2019 draft picks Connor McMichael and Aliaksei Protas.

The Caps will face the Hurricanes in the regular season on October 5 at Capital One Arena in their home opener.


What: Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: Saturday, September, 21, 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Capitals-Hurricanes preseason game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals-Hurricanes preseason game on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

Radio: Caps Radio 24/7


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I Am The Prospect: Capitals' prospect Alex Alexeyev is focused on one goal - making the roster

I Am The Prospect: Capitals' prospect Alex Alexeyev is focused on one goal - making the roster

Alex Alexeyev is the third Washington Capitals' prospect featured in NBC Sports Washington's I Am The Prospect series. Click here to check out more profiles from I am The Prospect.

Like most prospective NHL players, Alex Alexeyev dreams of the day he gets to lift the Stanley Cup over his head.

“It’s the best league in the world," Alexeyev said. "In childhood, they (are) always dreaming about raising that Stanley Cup. It’s my dream too.”

Standing at 6-foot, 3.5-inches tall, the 19-year-old from St. Petersburg, Russia, was the Capitals' last pick of the first round in the 2018 NHL Draft.

“He’s an untapped resource," Capitals head coach Todd Reirden said. "I was really impressed with him last year, seeing him for the first time."

Alexeyev's journey to the big leagues began three years ago when he made the move from Russia to North America, earning a spot on the top pair of the Red Deer Rebels' roster in Red Deer, Alberta, Canada. It was there in March of this past year that he sustained a "scary" knee injury, almost certainly sidelining him for the time being.

“I was scared and I felt like something (was) definitely wrong with my knee but after some time where I figured out, everyone figured out that it’s not that scary,” Alexeyev said.

Alexeyev rebounded quickly, rehabbing his injury with the Capitals' AHL affiliate, the Hershey Bears.

“The injuries, it’s too bad, but players do get injured and that’s something that can’t be helped, Capitals assistant general manager, Ross Mahoney said. "But he had a really good first half of the season with the Red Deer and exceptional World Junior Tournament, the under-20 tournament.” 

Since then, Alexeyev was a standout at the Caps' Developmental Camp in June.

“He just looks like he’s at a different level than the rest of the kids both physically and ability to play," Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan said. "He’s big, he’s strong, he’s got a good skill level, he moves the puck well, he seems to have a good attitude a good work ethic, I’m excited to see him in training camp and see his progression here as the year goes on.

With the loss of Capitals' veteran defensemen Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik, Alexeyev is focused on making the Caps' 2019-20 roster.

“Alex is a really intelligent player," Mahoney said. "I think he’s got great vision on the ice. He has that ability also to be very patient with the puck.”