The NHL is set up with a strong night of action throughout March 9. Nine games are up on the board on Tuesday night. One of these games will be between the New Jersey Devils and the Washington Capitals. These two teams have had opposite starts to the season, but I think it will be a good game on Tuesday. This game will drop the puck at around 7:00 PM Eastern time on ESPN+.
New Jersey has earned a record of 8-11-2 to this point in the season, which has them sitting in seventh place of the East Division. The Devils are coming off a win in their last game, which ended a five game losing streak. New Jersey has lost eight of their last ten games and will look to get back on track in this one. I expect the Devils to try and build off their last win in this one.
The Capitals have opened up this season with a record of 14-6-4, which has them sitting in second place of the East Division. Washington is coming off a win in their last game and have won five of their last six. The Capitals have picked up their play as of late and will look to keep doing so as they meet up with New Jersey in this one.
These two teams are on opposite sides of the division as of right now, but I expect an exciting tilt between these two. The Devils finally broke through with a win in their last game, but have still been in a bit of a rough patch. Washington has been pretty strong in their last stretch of games and will look to keep it up with a win on Tuesday night.
The Devils and the Capitals have met up three times throughout this season. Washington hosted the first game on February 21. Andreas Johnsson had a goal and an assist, while Kyle Palmieri had two assists. T.J. Oshie had two goals and an assist. John Carlson and Nicklas Backstrom both had two points as the Capitals earned a 4-3 win at home.
The second game of the season series shifted to New Jersey on February 27. Nico Hischier had a goal and an assist, but it was not enough for the Devils. John Carlson and Carl Hagelin each had two assists on the night. Five different players scored for the Capitals, but it was not enough. Vitek Vanecek finished with 22 saves on 24 shots as Washington earned a 5-2 win.
New Jersey also hosted the third and most recent game of the season series on February 28. Mikhail Maltsev and Yegor Sharangovich each scored a goal for the Devils, but once again New Jersey came up short. Jakub Vrana had a goal and an assist, while Tom Wilson had two assists. Ilya Samsonov stopped 19 of 21 shots to help the Capitals grab a 3-2 win on the road.
Washington has been able to sweep the first three games of this season series against the Devils. New Jersey has kept two of the games close, but they could not earn a win in this one. The Devils have struggled so far this season, but they will look to earn a win in this one. If New Jersey can play a more complete performance in this one, they could finally grab a win.
The Devils have struggled on special teams throughout this season. New Jersey has scored on only 8 of their 62 power play chances, which is a 12.9 percent power play. The Devils have only killed off 41 of the 63 penalties against them, which is a 65.1 percent penalty kill. New Jersey will look to get going on special teams throughout this one.
Washington has been dangerous on both sides of special teams so far this season. The Capitals have capitalized on 16 of their 61 power play opportunities, which is a 26.2 percent success rate. Washington has given up 14 goals on their opponents 78 power play attempts, which is an 82.1 percent kill rate. The Capitals will look to keep up their special teams success entering this matchup.
The Capitals have the edge on special teams entering this matchup. Washington has the better power play and penalty kill. The Capitals will look to keep the edge on special teams in this game. New Jersey has not found any success on either sides of special teams. The Devils will look for their special teams to step up in a big way on Tuesday night.
Mackenzie Blackwood will likely get the start in the crease for New Jersey in this one. Blackwood has earned a record of 5-6-1 throughout his 12 starts this season. He has put up a .904 save percentage and a GAA of 2.97 in this one. Blackwood’s last start was against the New York Rangers where he stopped 22 of 27 shots in the loss.
I expect Ilya Samsonov to get the nod between the pipes for the Capitals on Tuesday night. Samsonov has started in four games this season, going 3-0-1 in those games. He has posted a save percentage of .907 and a 2.45 GAA. Samsonov finished with 36 saves on 37 shots against the Philadelphia Flyers, which was enough for the win.
These two goalies have not been great throughout this season. Blackwood and Samsonov have both put up similar numbers throughout this season. Samsonov has only started four games after missing most of the beginning of the season due to COVID-19. The Devils will look to get going early to try and give Samsonov his first regulation loss.
New Jersey has struggled quite a bit as of late and they will look to earn their second straight win in this one. The Devils have not been great throughout this season, but will look to finally knock off Washington. The Capitals have won the first three games of the season series, but I expect New Jersey to come out fast in this one as they look for a win.
BetOnline has Washington listed as a -201 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Capitals will win this game around 66.8 percent of the time. The Capitals are the better team coming into this one, but this line is a little too big in my mind. I think that New Jersey can finally knock off Washington in this one. I really like the value on the Devils in this one, making them my pick of the night.