New Jersey (18-12-3, 39 PTS, 2nd Atlantic Division, 5th Eastern Conference) vs. Washington (15-11-7, 37 PTS, 2nd Southeast Division, 8th Eastern Conference)
FSN NY 2 (Head to MSG.com for channel listings)
WFAN 660 AM
New Jersey: Cam Janssen (Shoulder, Out for 13th Game), Richard Matvichuk (Back, Out for 33rd Game)
Washington: QUESTIONABLE TONIGHT: RW Matt Bradley (Hand), LW Donald Brashear (Undisclosed), D John Erskine (Foot). IR: RW Richard Zednik (Groin)
Last We Met:
March 10, 2006: Sergei Brylin scores the game winner as NJ beats the Caps 4-3 at the Verizon Center.
Will be next week, Dec. 29, at the Meadowlands.
#26 Patrik Elias 12-18-30
#15 Jamie Langenbrunner 14-13-27
#14 Brian Gionta 13-13-26
#9 Zach Parise 11-13-24
#23 Scott Gomez 4-19-23
#8 Alexander Ovechkin 23-22-45
#28 Alexander Semin 14-15-29
#9 Dianius Zubrus 13-16-29
#17 Chris Clark 12-14-26
#18 Matt Pettinger 10-7-17
#30 Martin Broduer 18-11-2, 2.19, .920%
#40 Scott Clemmensen 0-1-1, 3.60, .878%
#37 Olaf Kolzig 11-8-4, 3.16, .911%
#1 Brent Johnson 4-3-3, 3.10, .908%
Players to Watch
New Jersey: Brian Gionta
When is the last time Brian scored a goal? C’mon, I’ll give you a couple seconds to think….Bam! Time’s up! It was was the Buffalo game on Versus 10 days and 5 games ago. When’s the last one that wasn’t a deflection? December 1st vs. the Penguins. The rocket from Rochester has to wake up now before the schedule is tough again.
Washington: Alexander Semin
The Capitals always are in need of secondary scoring behind that guy, what-his-vechkin? Anyway, as you saw in the scoring leaders, Semin is in 2nd in Washington scoring, 16 points behind Ovie. His and Dainius Zubrus’ contributions will be key to this game and the Caps entire run through the second half.
It’s weird to think that at Christmas, the Devils have only a two-point advantage coming into this 1st meeting of the season. This’ll be an interesting battle of unappreciated teams. Washington and NJ are both teams with poor attendance and great players. Not that that really matters, but I’m still trying to come up with catchy “battle” nicknames (A la Daryl Reaugh calling Red Wings-Blue Jackets a “Central Division Cockfight”). Anyway, expect the Devils to frustrate this young team by using Madden and Pando to shutdown Ovechkin, which I said before, makes it key for guys like Semin and Zubrus and Clark to chip in. Should be interesting, but expect two NJ points. PREDICTION: Devils 3, Capitals 1