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Devils suffer first loss of season to Caps

10 Takeaways: Devils fall to Caps 5-2

by Amanda Stein @AmandaCStein /

NEWARK, N.J. - The New Jersey Devils were back home at The Rock on Friday night, in the first of a back-to-back scenario. Hosting the Washington Capitals, the Devils lost their first game of the season 5-2.

Tweet from @NJDevils: It���s go time! #WSHvsNJD is underway on MSG+.

Here are 10 takeaways from the game: 

1. Marcus Johansson played for the first time in a regular season game against his former Washington Capitals teammates. Coach John Hynes put Johansson in the starting lineup alongside Adam Henrique and Jimmy Hayes for the opening faceoff. Johansson was also wearing the "A" on his jersey for the third consecutive game. He was held off the scoresheet against his former team. 

2. The Devils gave up the first goal of the game for the second consecutive game, when Washington's T.J. Oshie scored from the slot with 5:11 remaining in the first period. Cory Schneider was beaten with a perfect wrist shot from the Capitals forward. 

3. After giving up 50 shots to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Wednesday, the Devils held the Capitals to 28 shots on net. 

4. The Devils tried to contain Alex Ovechkin, the NHL's leader in points and goals, but couldn't hold him off the board. Posted up on the power play in his office by the left circle, Ovechkin scored Washington's second goal of the night to give the Capitals a 2-0 lead midway through the second period. Ovechkin leads the NHL with nine goals and 10 assists in five games. 

5. Taylor Hall scored his first goal of the season Friday night. It was a power play goal from the left circle. After Friday's morning skate Hall spoke about needing to score saying, "I don't want to grip the stick too tight, but at the same time, I've got to score."

And score he did on home ice against the Capitals to cut Washington's lead to 2-1 late in the second period. Will Butcher picked up an assist on the Hall goal. It was the rookie's sixth assist in four games since making his NHL debut this season. Kyle Palmieri picked up the other assist on Hall's goal. 

6. Blake Coleman had a busy night, twice finding himself in the penalty box for dropping the gloves and fighting with both Washington's Andre Burakovsky and Tom Wilson. Coleman's second fight of the night was after Wilson laid out a hard hit on Andy Greene that Coleman took exception to. 

7. Palmieri is now also the proud owner of the 100th goal of his career. His third period marker cut the Capitals' lead to 3-2 and was his first goal of the season. Palmieri has 100 goals and 103 assists in 363 career NHL games. Damon Severson and John Moore assisted on the goal.

Tweet from @NJDevils: �� Congrats to @KylePalmieri who just scored his 100th career @NHL goal! ��#WSHvsNJD

8. Devante Smith-Pelly, who played for New Jersey last season, played against his former team for the first time. He tallied an assist on the Capitals' third goal of the night. His shot deflected off teammate Jakub Vrana and past Cory Schneider to give Washington a 3-1 lead with just 59 seconds left in the second period.  

9. It was a costly double minor for Pavel Zacha and the Devils. With Zacha in the box for four minutes 4:50 into the third period, Washington scored two goals to break the game wide open and take a 5-2 lead they would not relinquish.  

10. The Devils will have little time to dwell on their first loss of the season. They will be at Madison Square Garden Saturday night to face the Rangers. Keith Kinkaid will get the start in net, giving Cory Schneider the night off.

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