Monday, February 2, 2009

Caps Head to NJ Tuesday

Here's a quick peek at what the Caps will face on Tuesday in New Jersey.

The Devils are riding an eight-game winning streak. They're 32-15-3 overall, just one point behind Washington in the Eastern Conference. They're 15-8-1 at home.

Devils Captain RW Jamie Langenbrunner is hot, hot, hot right now. He has three straight two-goal games. He was named the NHL's First Star of the Week for last week and of the Month for January. Here is what teammate C Travis Zajac had to say about his team captain after their overtime win against Pittsburgh on January 30: "He's playing with a lot of confidence right now and burying all his chances. He's working hard and playing hard and making smart plays. As a leader and the captain of this team that's what we expect from him and he's doing a great job."

Goalie Scott Clemmensen, who is the starting goaltender while Martin Brodeur recovers from elbow surgery, is 22-9-1, with a .920 Save % and 2.29 GAA. One of Clemmensen's wins came against the Caps in OT in New Jersey on November 15. The Caps played the Devils in back-to-back games that weekend, with the Caps getting the win in regulation at home on November 14.

The Devils have seven players who have recorded 10 or more goals this season, including Patrick Elias and All-Star Zach Parise. They have four solid offensive lines and three effective d-lines. RW Brendan Shanahan has recorded three goals in four games since returning to the Devils on January 10.

The Caps' record on the road currently stands at 11-12-3, and they are 5-4-1 in their last 10 games. To get the win against the Devils, the Caps will need strong goaltending (the Devils have scored 30 goals during their 8-game winning streak) and an impressive offensive performance (NJ has allowed only 125 goals this season, the fifth-fewest in the NHL).

The game begins at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 3 and will be broadcast on Versus.

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