Capitals wrap up trip at Devils
The Washington Capitals conclude a four-game road stretch when they visit the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday night.
The Capitals (42-23-7) are tied with the New York Islanders atop the Metropolitan Division and are 1-2 on the road swing following Saturday's 6-3 loss at Tampa Bay. The Capitals return home to host the Lightning on Wednesday.
Saturday's game was the first meeting between the teams since last season's Eastern Conference Final, which Washington won in seven games.
Tampa Bay took an early 2-0 lead and scored a pair of empty-net goals to secure the win.
"You have a start like that against a team, a high-caliber team, they can get away," Washington forward T.J. Oshie told NHL.com. "That's what it was, we were chasing from behind the rest of the time and it was all mental errors, things we can clean up."
Alex Ovechkin scored two goals for the Capitals, who are 8-2-0 in their past 10 games. Ovechkin leads the NHL with 48 goals and is on the verge of his eighth 50-goal season.
It was Ovechkin's 131st multi-goal game. One of his two goals was his 246th career power-play tally, tying him with Hall of Famer Phil Esposito for fifth place in league history.
John Carlson also scored for Washington and Braden Holtby made 29 saves on 33 shots.
"I thought we did some decent things as the game went on, but our first period, we didn't manage the puck well enough to give ourselves a chance," Capitals coach Todd Reirden said.
Washington has been getting scoring beyond the Ovechkin line.
Jakub Vrana and Tom Wilson recently netted their 20th goals of the season. Brett Connolly (19), Nicklas Backstrom (18) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (18) could reach the 20-goal mark.
New Jersey (27-37-9) has been eliminated from playoff contention and is returning from a six-game road trip to open a four-game homestand.
The Devils went 2-4 on the trip, which ended with a 3-0 loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Sunday.
Cory Schneider made 31 saves for the Devils, who got 22 shots on former Capitals goalie Philipp Grubauer.
"I thought we had some looks," New Jersey coach John Hynes told NHL.com. "(Grubauer) made some good saves on the looks we had. We didn't generate as much as we needed to. We had some really good shot attempts and looks on the power play; unfortunately, we missed the net."
Schneider allowed only two goals before the Avalanche added an empty-netter.
"Cory, he had no chance on the second one, which was an unfortunate bounce," Hynes said. "Second period, we gave up a few odd-man rushes, he came up big. And when we got ourselves in trouble, he held the fort."
Schneider is 3-9-2 with a 2.68 goals-against average and .905 save percentage in his career against the Capitals. He hasn't faced them this season.
Ovechkin has 25 goals and 32 assists in 52 games against the Devils.
--Field Level MediaHome