Devils GameDay: 12/22 vs. WSH, 7PM, FSNY2, WFAN

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)
7:00 PM
Verizon Center

FSN NY 2 (Head to for channel listings)

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.

Next Time:
Will be next week, Dec. 29, at the Meadowlands.

Leading Scorers

New Jersey
#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


New Jersey
#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.

Game Analysis

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

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of Hudson administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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