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Preview: Devils vs. Capitals

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

newjerseydevils.com – The New Jersey Devils are continuing to find ways to keep their winning streak intact.

Following their largest comeback victory of the season, the Devils look to extend their season-high winning streak to nine games when they host the lowly Washington Capitals on Friday (7 p.m., FSN NY 2, WFAN 660 AM).

New Jersey's win streak was in jeopardy Wednesday against Boston, as it fell behind 3-0 in the first period. The Devils (15-10-2), though, rallied behind two goals from both Zach Parise and Patrik Elias to come away with a 4-3 overtime victory.

Parise sent the game into overtime with 5:57 remaining in regulation, and Elias scored with 1:44 left in the extra period to give New Jersey its eighth straight win.

"We knew that the first period was gross," said Parise, who also assisted on the game-winner. "There was no panic. It was a matter of waking up. We weren't out of the game. It shows the difference between the team now and when the streak started. We're more resilient and it's fun to win."

In their previous game, the Devils needed a shootout to beat Atlanta 3-2 on Sunday.

New Jersey is outscoring opponents 28-12 during its winning streak, which is the team's longest in a single season since it reeled off 11 straight victories March 28-April 18, 2006.

Martin Brodeur was in net for all of those games in 2006, and has started each game of the current win streak. Brodeur made 23 saves on Wednesday, and has a 1.48 goals-against average and two shutouts during the run.

The reigning Vezina Trophy winner has had little trouble with the Capitals recently. In his last 12 games against Washington, Brodeur is 10-1-0 with one tie, one shutout and a 1.88 GAA.

Parise, who leads the Devils with 14 goals and 18 assists, has three goals and four assists in eight career games versus the Capitals. He has nine goals and eight assists during the winning streak.

This is the first meeting of the season between these clubs. The Devils went 3-1-0 against the Capitals last season, and have won 12 of the past 15 meetings.

Washington (9-16-2), owner of the league's worst record, has not played since defeating Florida 2-1 on Saturday to snap a three-game skid.

Alexander Ovechkin scored his 20th goal of the season while standing parallel to the Panthers goal to break a 1-all tie at 4:38 of the third period.

"It's about time something good happened," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We needed a break."

Ovechkin has recorded a point in 11 of his last 12 games, tallying 11 goals and five assists. The Devils did a solid job of shutting him down last season, though, as Ovechkin had a goal and two assists in four meetings.

Backup goalie Brent Johnson stopped 24 shots on Saturday to snap a five-game losing streak, earning his first win since Oct. 5.

Olaf Kolzig is expected to be back in goal for this game despite his recent struggles. Kolzig has a 2.65 GAA in losing his last three starts, and is 3-9-1 with a 3.09 GAA since the start of last month.

He also has fared poorly versus the Devils lately, going 1-7-1 with one tie and a 2.74 GAA in his last 10 starts against them. In his only start against New Jersey last season, Kolzig made 34 saves in a 4-3 loss on Dec. 29.

After a three-game road trip to Broadway, Washington and Boston, the Devils return home to face the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 1 p.m. All fans 13 & under in attendance will take home a Devils youth jersey compliments of Modell's Sporting Goods, and fans will be able to purchase regular hot dogs and 20-ounce sodas for just a dollar each.

The Devils then host the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 5 p.m., when all fans in attendance will receive an Inaugural Season pin courtesy of XM Satellite Radio.

2007-2008 season series
DateScoreW. Goal
Feb 29 '08 WSH 4 at NJD 0 M. Green
Feb 24 '08 NJD 2 at WSH 1 - OT J. Madden
Dec 10 '07 NJD 2 at WSH 3 Q. Laing
Dec 07 '07 WSH 2 at NJD 3 T. Zajac
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