The Capitals travelled to New Jersey Wednesday night after dispatching the Golden Knights and prepared for a conference contest the following evening. And tonight the Devils dispatched the defending Stanley Cup Champions 3 to 0 in almost effortless fashion behind a perfect performance from Keith Kinkaid.
Here’s Thursday night’s Plus/Minus:
Plus: Marcus Johansson finished the evening with one goal on two shots in 17 minutes of work. His goal, a deep shot, was uncharacteristic for the Swede but everyone’s favorite former Cap connected on the shot and looks happy in New Jersey.
Minus: Washington, playing their second set of back-to-back games in the past nine nights, looked tired the entire contest. They never had a chance in this one.
Nine more notes on the game.
- Head Coach Todd Reirdon gave Pheonix Copley the start, opting to rest Braden Holtby after last evening’s win. Copley became the first Capitals player to wear the number 1 on his jersey since Semyon Varlamov in 2011.
- But seven minutes into his first start New Jersey put themselves ahead with a goal that came courtesy of Kyle Palmieri. With the Devils’ entire first line crashing the crease (more on them later) Palmieri slid the puck underneath Copley from in close.
- And before the end of the frame Palmieri potted a power play goal to extend New Jersey’s lead to two. With John Carlson in the penalty box Palmieri walked in from the right wall and wired a wrist shot over Copley’s glove.
- Early in the second period old friend Johansson extended New Jersey’s lead to three with a power play goal of his own. Johansson surprisingly ripped a shot from forty feet that beat both traffic and Copley to his right side.
- Five minutes into the final frame Blake Coleman tallied the Devils’ fourth of the night.
- Less than seven minutes later Jean-Sébastien Dea slammed home a loose puck in the slot to put yet another nail in the Capitals’ coffin.
- And with five minutes to play Brian Boyle stuffed home a wrap around to provide the margin of victory for the Devils.
- Copley did his best behind a tired and sluggish Capitals group and came up with several great saves against odd man rush opportunities. He finished his first night’s worth of work for Washington with thirty saves on 36 shots against.
- New Jersey’s first line of Palmieri, Taylor Hall, and Nico Hischier gave Washington’s defense problems all night. The trio combined for four points (2G 2A) and twelve shots on net.