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game preview

Devils at Capitals preview

New Jersey stays with Domingue in goal; Samsonov seeks to win ninth straight decision

by Harvey Valentine / Independent Correspondent

DEVILS (17-22-7) at CAPITALS (31-11-5)

7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, MSG+ 2, NHL.TV


The Game

Ilya Samsonov will look to win his ninth straight decision when the Washington Capitals play the New Jersey Devils at Capital One Arena on Thursday.

Samsonov, who earned his first NHL shutout with 23 saves in a 2-0 win against the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday, will start consecutive games for the first time this season. He's 8-0-0 with a 1.62 goals-against average and .939 save percentage in his past nine starts.

The Capitals are 4-2-0 in their past six games and 9-7-0 in their past 16.

Louis Domingue is expected to make his fourth straight start for the Devils, who are 2-3-1 in their past six games, including a 5-1 win at Washington on Saturday. Domingue allowed five goals on 19 shots in a 7-4 loss at the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday.


Players to watch 

Devils forward Nico Hischier has no points in his past two games after having 10 points (six goals, four assists) in his previous eight.

Capitals forward Jakub Vrana has seven points (five goals, two assists) in a six-game point streak.


They said it

"We know how we need to counter their attack and counter their offense. It's a dynamic offense with Washington. They have four lines that can score, that can create, so for us it's the same mindset. It's more of a mindset than it is tactics. We just have to make sure we have the right mindset." -- Devils coach Alain Nasreddine

"He obviously played phenomenal last game. I'd like to see him against Jersey, back-to-back home games. I think he's earned it. Now it's a chance for him to take another step. We continue to give him different challenges, one after another here without overwhelming him. I think that this is the right move, fair move…and now we'll see how he does in a situation like this." -- Capitals coach Todd Reirden on Ilya Samsonov


Devils projected lineup

Miles Wood -- Nico Hischier -- Jesper Bratt

Blake Coleman -- Travis Zajac -- Nikita Gusev

Pavel Zacha -- Jack Hughes -- Wayne Simmonds

Jesper Boqvist -- Kevin Rooney -- John Hayden

Andy Greene -- P.K. Subban

Damon Severson -- Sami Vatanen

Will Butcher -- Connor Carrick

Louis Domingue

Cory Schneider

Scratched: Mirco Mueller

Injured: Ben Street (upper body), Kyle Palmieri (lower body), Mackenzie Blackwood (upper body)


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- T.J. Oshie

Carl Hagelin -- Lars Eller -- Richard Panik

Brendan Leipsic -- Nic Dowd -- Garnet Hathaway

Jonas Siegenthaler -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Nick Jensen

Michal Kempny -- Radko Gudas

Ilya Samsonov

Braden Holtby

Scratched: Travis Boyd

Injured: None


Status report

Rooney did not participate in the morning skate because of an illness and will be a game-time decision. If he doesn't play, Mueller will dress as a seventh defenseman. Hughes, who left the game against Toronto because of an illness, will also be a game-time decision. Nasreddine said Blackwood, a goalie who has missed the past three games, is "very close" to returning, and that Palmieri, a forward who has missed the past two games, could return Saturday against the Columbus Blue Jackets. … The Capitals had an optional morning skate. 


Stat pack

Wood has four points (two goals, two assists) in a three-game point streak. … Simmonds has an assist in each of his past three games. … Ovechkin has four goals in his past four games. … The Capitals are 7-7-1 against Metropolitan Division teams this season.

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