NHL Game Recap: New Jersey Devils vs Washington Capitals| 01/03/2024

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

The New Jersey Devils defeated the Washington Capitals 6-3 on Wednesday night at Capital One Arena. With multi-goal performances from Nico Hischier, Dawson Mercer, and Michael McLeod, the Devils grabbed their first win over Washington this season. They improved to 20-14-2 and jumped past Washington in the Metropolitan Division standings. The Capitals fell to 18-12-6.

Game Recap

Period One

The Devils opened the scoring early with a goal from Captain Nico Hischier, who buried a rebound from Colin Miller’s shot at 3:03. Goaltender Nico Daws also recorded his first career NHL point on the play. Shortly after, at 9:50, the Devils cashed in on the power play to extend the lead to 2-0. Hischier deflected in a shot from Luke Hughes for his second goal of the period. Jack Hughes tallied an assist as well. The Devils’ penalty kill continued to struggle, as they surrendered a power-play goal at 18:38. Connor McMichael scored from Rasmus Sandin and Anthony Mantha to cut the lead in half.

Period Two

The Devils regained momentum at 8:08 when Dawson Mercer scored in his 200th career NHL game. Erik Haula and Hischier collected assists on the goal. However, the momentum was short-lived, as Evgeny Kuznetsov brought Washington back within one at 11:25. Alex Ovechkin and Martin Fehervary assisted on the goal.

Washington knotted things up with another late power-play goal, this time John Carlson from Kuznetsov and Ovechkin at 18:58. Less than a minute later, thanks to a strong effort on the rush, McLeod restored the Devils’ lead with a spinning backhand shot at 19:44 to beat goaltender, Hunter Shepard. Alexander Holtz added an assist on the play.

Third Period

The Devils regained a two-goal lead at 7:16, with Mercer’s second of the game coming just after a powerplay. Haula assisted with a slick pass to find Mercer in the slot. Nathan Bastian also added his name to the scoresheet with a secondary assist. The Devils put the game away at 15:35 with McLeod’s second goal of the night, a loose puck buried from the net front. Holtz and Curtis Lazar had the assists.

The Devils outshot Washington 28-26 and moved back into a wildcard position in the playoff standings.

Takeaways

Despite injuries holding Timo Meier and Ondrej Palat out of the lineup, the Devils put together a solid performance against a Capitals team that they routinely struggle to beat. A few defensive lapses led to good scoring chances, but Daws made some big saves to bail the Devils out at crucial points of play. While the penalty kill struggled, they were able to find enough offense to earn two points in their first game of the new year.

Next Up

The Devils welcome Connor Bedard and the Chicago Blackhawks into the Prudential Center on January 5th in the final meeting of the season between the two teams. The Devils won the first match 4-2.

The Blackhawks are dealing with a lot of injuries and have a record of 2-7-1 in their last ten games, putting them last in the Central Division. They will also be in the second half of a back-to-back set, having faced the New York Rangers on Thursday night.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7 p.m. EST.

We Got The Jack Inside The Rink

In episode 8 of the Inside The Rink podcast, Matty and Smitty are joined by new co-host Conrad Jack. After the long hiatus, we get back to hockey with a PACKED episode!Matt Rempe & the Devils vs. Rangers Line BrawlCould the Vancouver Canucks squander a playoff opportunity? Have the Winnipeg Jets finally figured out their lines?Flyers Head Coach John Tortorella is a sound byte MACHINEOvechkin is on his way to 895, Who is next?McDavid joins elite company with 100 Assists in a seasonRyan Hartman was suspended 3 Games, was it worth 3 games??Can Auston Matthews hit 70 Goals this season?The Eastern Conference Wild Card race is heating up, who lands the two playoff berths?For all of your hockey news and more from the show, visit us at insidetherink.com and watch us on YouTube! How to support us and our sponsors:TicketmasterColumbia Sports ApparelESPN+ SubscriptionFanaticsDraft Kings – CODE ITR
  1. We Got The Jack
  2. Episode 7. Player Safety First!
  3. Episode 6. Early Trade Season
  4. Episode 5. Longing For The Chiarelli Years
  5. Episode 4. Ottawa’s On Fire

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