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Preview: Devils at Capitals

Kevin Shattenkirk plays first home game for Washington; Devils try to end four-game slide

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

DEVILS at CAPITALS

7 p.m. ET; CSN-DC, MSG+, NHL.TV 

 

Devils team scope

Center Kevin Rooney will make his NHL debut for the New Jersey Devils. Rooney was recalled from Albany of the American Hockey League on Wednesday. Defenseman Dalton Prout, acquired in a trade from the Columbus Blue Jackets for defenseman Kyle Quincey on Wednesday, won't dress. Coach John Hynes said Prout will be eased into the lineup slowly because he hasn't played in three weeks. "It's always difficult when you see players leave, especially at the trade deadline, because you spent significant amount of time with those guys," Hynes said. "We feel like the guys on our team right now have lots of attributes that we want. They play hard, they're fast, they have some pretty good puck skills, so we're excited about the group we have right now." The Devils are seven points out of the second wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs from the Eastern Conference and have lost four in a row, but theyare 6-1-0 in their past seven road games.

 

Capitals team scope

Defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk is looking forward to making his Verizon Center debut for the Washington Capitals, who will be trying to win their franchise-record 14th consecutive home game. Shattenkirk was acquired in a trade from the St. Louis Blues on Monday and played in a 4-1 road win against the New York Rangers on Tuesday. "It's always a pretty raucous environment, so I'm looking forward to that," Shattenkirk said. "I think there's a great fan base here and they make it very hard to win in this building. I'm happy to be on the other side of things and be on the team that plays very well in this building." Forward T.J. Oshie will miss his fourth consecutive game with an upper-body injury. Defenseman Brooks Orpik will return after missing three games with a lower-body injury. Tom Wilson will take Oshie's place on the top line with captain Alex Ovechkin and center Nicklas Backstrom for a second consecutive game. Washington leads Columbus and the Pittsburgh Penguins by seven points for first place in the Metropolitan Division and Eastern Conference. Washington is 9-2-1 in its past 12 games and 22-4-2 in its past 28. Goaltender Braden Holtby will start; he's 11-0-1 with one shutout in his past 12 starts.

 

Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Travis Zajac -- Kyle Palmieri

Miles Wood -- Adam Henrique -- Beau Bennett

Michael Cammalleri -- Blake Coleman -- Stefan Noesen

Joseph Blandisi -- Kevin Rooney -- Devante Smith-Pelly

Andy Greene -- Ben Lovejoy

Jon Merrill -- Steven Santini

John Moore -- Damon Severson

Cory Schneider

Keith Kinkaid

Scratched: Dalton Prout

Injured: Pavel Zacha (concussion), Jacob Josefson (upper body)

 

Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Tom Wilson

Marcus Johansson -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Justin Williams

Brett Connolly -- Lars Eller -- Jakub Vrana

Daniel Winnik -- Jay Beagle -- Paul Carey

Karl Alzner -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Nate Schmidt, Taylor Chorney

Injured: Andre Burakovsky (hand), T.J. Oshie (upper body)

 

Status report

Zacha participated in the morning skate but won't play. Josefson is listed as day to day after leaving New Jersey's 4-3 overtime loss to the Montreal Canadiens in the third period. … Burakovsky will be evaluated Thursday.

 

Who's hot

Zajac has eight points (three goals, five assists) during a five-game point streak, Palmieri has seven points (four goals, three assists) during a four-game point streak. … Backstrom has 17 points (six goals, 11 assists) in his past 13 games, Johansson has 11 points (six goals, five assists) in 10 games, Kuznetsov has 15 points (eight goals, seven assists) in 14 games.

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