The Stanley Cup Champion Washington Capitals are suddenly red-hot as they enter the final stretch of the regular season. The Capitals have won five straight games and will look to make it six straight when they host the New Jersey Devils on Friday night. New Jersey comes into this game suffering through a four-game losing streak, but they are always ready to take on their Eastern Conference rivals. The Washington Capitals and New Jersey Devils have split their first two games against each other this season.
The Capitals are back on top of the Metropolitan Division in the Eastern Conference and look like a favorite again in the East. Washington comes into this game with 85 points, which is just two points ahead of the New York Islanders. The New Jersey Devils are in last place in the same division and have a measly 59 points this season. New Jersey has their eyes on the upcoming 2019 NHL Draft, and are looking to reload for next season. Washington is -265 over the New Jersey Devils in this game.
Devils Ready For Season to End
Not much has gone right for the New Jersey Devils this season, and they are no doubt ready to get this season over with. The Devils are averaging just 2.81 goals per game this season while giving up 3.3 goals per night. New Jersey has been terrific on the penalty kill this season, killing off 83.5 percent of their own penalties. This type of penalty kill will come in handy against the Washington Capitals, but at some point, they are going to have to score some goals of their own. New Jersey has a lot of young talent, but they are still missing a few pieces to compete.
Right winger Kyle Palmieri has been the offensive star for the Devils so far this season. Palmieri leads the team with 26 goals and 48 assists and is a building block for the future. Center Nico Hischier is just one of three Devils with a positive +/- this season, coming into this game at +4. New Jersey has also struggled to find consistent goaltending, but Mackenzie Blackwood looks like a future star in net. Looking at the stats, it is pretty clear to see why the Devils are in last place in the division.
Ovechkin, Capitals Ready For Another Deep Run
The Washington Capitals appeared to be suffering from a hangover at the start of the season, but they are back to playing great hockey. Alexander Ovechkin is once again proving that he is one of the best players in the league, but he has plenty of help. Washington is averaging 3.4 goals per game this season while giving up just 3.13 per night. Their power play helped them win the Stanley Cup a season ago, and they are converting on 22 percent of their chances this season as well.
Ovechkin always seems to get better as each season wears on, and this year has been no different. The left winger leads the Capitals with 46 goals and 77 points this season and is always deadly on the mad advantage. Centers Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov have combined for 89 assists this season, and the Capitals can score in a variety of ways. Washington will be a tough out in the Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Capitals Blow Out Devils
Even though this is a rivalry game, it shouldn’t be all that competitive. This is a battle of two teams going in opposite directions, and the Devils shouldn’t have an answer for the Capitals. Washington will score enough goals to win their sixth straight game in blowout fashion. Bet the Washington Capitals -265 over the New Jersey Devils.