Washington
Capitals
29-41-12
New Jersey
Devils
46-27-9

25 SOG
38 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
WSH
NJD
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Capitals-Devils Preview

Wednesday, 12.28.2005 / 7:30 PM

Associated Press

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Capitals-Devils Preview
Washington Capitals vs. New Jersey Devils
Capitals-Devils Preview

GAME: Washington Capitals (12-19-2) at New Jersey Devils (15-16-5).

TIME: Wednesday, 7:30 p.m. EST.

Lou Lamoriello helped lead the New Jersey Devils to three Stanley Cups as the team's general manager. However, as the team's interim coach, not even he's found a way to fix their woeful power play.

New Jersey hopes to avoid matching a season high with its fourth straight loss when it takes on the Washington Capitals at Continental Airlines Arena.

Failing to score on six more power plays, the Devils lost 2-1 at Toronto on Monday, their third straight loss and ninth in 11 games.

"Right now the power play has cost us a few hockey games," Lamoriello said. "One way or another it has to change. We can't continue this way."

Since Lamoriello took over behind the bench after Larry Robinson suddenly resigned for health reasons, the Devils have lost three of four and are 1-for-33 on the power play.

Over their last 14 games, the Devils are 4-for-100 with the extra man.

"We're playing the new game as well as anybody else," center John Madden said of the league's rule changes. "But we've hit a drought on the power play. When you're in this little funk, it's hard to find your way through it and see what's wrong."

New Jersey's current 15-16-5 record is its worst after 36 games since 2001-02.

Perhaps facing the Capitals - the team with the worst-ranked penalty kill in the league - can change the Devils' fortunes.

Washington got another goal from impressive rookie Alexander Ovechkin, but failed to win three straight for the first time this season, losing 4-3 in overtime to visiting Boston.

Ovechkin's 21st goal gave the Capitals a 3-1 lead with 8:13 left in the third, but the Caps couldn't hold it, and instead, dropped a costly defeat to a team it was looking to catch in the Eastern Conference standings.

"As far as losing in overtime, we didn't deserve to be there," coach Glen Hanlon said. "They beat us at our game, and our game is outworking teams and directing pucks to the net and they did a good job at that. That's the hard part to swallow."

Ovechkin has three goals and four assists in his past three games. He has one goal in his first two games against New Jersey.

STANDINGS (through Dec. 27): Capitals - 27 points, 5th place, 22 PB, Southeast Division. Devils - 35 points, 4th place, 14 PB, Atlantic Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Capitals - Ovechkin, 21 goals, 20 assists and 41 points; Brendan Witt, 82 PIM. Devils - Brian Gionta, 19 goals and 35 points; Gionta, Scott Gomez and Brian Rafalski, 16 assists; Colin White, 43 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS (through Dec. 27): Capitals - Power play: 13.1 percent (27 for 206), 29th in NHL. Penalty killing: 78.4 percent (192 for 245), 30th. Devils - Power play: 14.2 percent (32 for 226), 27th. Penalty killing: 83.3 percent (155 for 186), 10th.

GOALTENDERS: Capitals - Olaf Kolzig (10-13-3, 0 SO, 3.33 GAA); Brent Johnson (2-5-0, 4.93). Devils - Martin Brodeur (13-13-3, 2.87); Scott Clemmensen (2-3-2, 3.54).

SEASON SERIES: Devils, 2-0.

LAST MEETING: Nov. 12; Devils, 3-2. At East Rutherford, N.J., Brodeur, starting on consecutive days after missing six games with a sprained right knee, made 18 saves to lead the Devils.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Capitals - 4-11-1 on the road; Devils - 9-6-3 at home.


Associated Press
2005-2006 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Mar 10 '06NJD 4 at WSH 3 - SOS. Brylin
Dec 28 '05WSH 2 at NJD 7B. Gionta
Nov 12 '05WSH 2 at NJD 3G. Marshall
Nov 11 '05NJD 4 at WSH 3S. Gomez
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
PlayerGPGAP+/-PIMPPGW
GoalieGPRec.GASAGAASv%
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