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Preview: Capitals at Devils

T.J. Oshie won't play for Washington; goalie Keith Kinkaid starts for New Jersey

by Mike G. Morreale @mikemorrealeNHL / NHL.com Staff Writer

CAPITALS (32-10-6) at DEVILS (20-20-9)

7 p.m. ET; MSG, CSN-DC, NHL.TV

 

Capitals team scope

Washington Capitals right wing T.J. Oshie will not play in order to attend to a family matter in Washington. Jay Beagle, who missed a 3-0 loss at the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday because of illness, will take Oshie's spot on the top line alongside left wing Alex Ovechkin and center Nicklas Backstrom. "Obviously I'm just going to play my game and not change too much and try and keep it simple," Beagle said. "Just need to get the puck to those two guys; you want the puck in their hands." The Capitals had a 14-game point streak (12-0-2) end with the loss to the Senators. Goaltender Braden Holtby will make his fourth start in the past six games. He is 10-3-2 with a 1.91 GAA, three shutouts, and .929 save percentage in 15 games against the New Jersey Devils. "I don't think we've lost any confidence," Holtby said of the loss to the Senators. "Things just weren't clicking at the right moments against the Senators but we know we're doing the right things in order to create some luck for ourselves and we're confident going into the game against the Devils." The Capitals are 8-0-1 in their past nine games against the Devils and have won five in a row at Prudential Center. Washington has scored four or more goals in 11 of its past 14 games. Three point streaks ended in the loss to the Senators: Backstrom (10 games), Ovechkin (eight games) and Andre Burakovsky (six games). Ovechkin has 20 goals and 45 points in 43 games against New Jersey.

 

Devils team scope

Goaltender Keith Kinkaid will make his fourth start in the past seven games. Cory Schneider was pulled for the second time in his past seven starts after allowing three goals on 12 shots in the first period of a 3-1 loss to the Los Angeles Kings on Tuesday. Kinkaid entered in relief and made 13 saves. "Keith has played well and he's feeling good about himself," coach John Hynes said. "It isn't necessarily one game but more [Kinkaid's] body of work. He's played well." Kinkaid is 1-2-0 with a 3.62 GAA and .885 save percentage in three games against the Capitals. "I always want to play so I was hoping, expecting to play [Thursday]," Schneider said. "But coach decided to go with Keith, which is understandable because he's played great all year. The way I came out last game, it wasn't my best, so it's understandable." Right wing Stefan Noesen is expected to make his debut for the Devils after being claimed off waivers on Wednesday from the Anaheim Ducks. Noesen had two goals in 12 games for the Ducks this season. He has played in 14 NHL games since the Ottawa Senators selected him No. 21 in the 2011 NHL Draft. "I like being around the net, being down low, and using my body and playing physical," Noesen said. "I've talked to the coaches and that's what they brought me in here for." The Ducks acquired Noesen, right wing Jakob Silverberg and a first-round pick in the 2014 draft in a trade with the Senators for right wing Bobby Ryan on July 5, 2013. The Devils have lost five straight at home (0-4-1) and are 1-6-1 in the past eight. They began the season 7-0-2 at Prudential Center.

 

Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Jay Beagle

Marcus Johansson -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Justin Williams

Brett Connolly -- Lars Eller -- Andre Burakovsky

Daniel Winnik -- Chandler Stephenson -- Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner -- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik -- Dmitry Orlov

Nate Schmidt -- Taylor Chorney

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: T.J. Oshie

Injured: John Carlson (lower body)

 

Devils projected lineup

Taylor Hall -- Travis Zajac -- Kyle Palmieri

Miles Wood -- Adam Henrique -- Michael Cammalleri

Pavel Zacha -- Jacob Josefson -- Stefan Noesen

Devante Smith-Pelly -- Vernon Fiddler -- PA Parenteau

Jon Merrill -- Ben Lovejoy

Karl Stollery -- Damon Severson

Kyle Quincey -- Steven Santini

Keith Kinkaid

Cory Schneider

Scratched: Sergey Kalinin, Luke Gazdic, Seth Helgeson

Injured: John Moore (concussion), Andy Greene (wrist), Beau Bennett (leg)

 

Status report

Capitals coach Barry Trotz said Carlson, who has missed the past five games, will work out in Florida with a trainer and is expected to return to the lineup at the New York Islanders on Tuesday. He also said there is a backup plan in place if Beagle struggles to play the required minutes on the top line on Thursday. Stephenson, who was recalled from Hershey of the American Hockey League on Tuesday, will again play between Winnik and Wilson on the fourth line. ... Bennett, who has missed the past three games, was placed on injured reserve retroactive to Jan 20. Hynes said Smith-Pelly will be in the lineup after being a healthy scratch for the past two games.

 

Who's hot

Niskanen has two goals and eight points in his past nine games. Ovechkin has four goals and 13 points in the past nine games and is one goal from tying Michel Goulet (548 goals) for 28th place on the NHL all-time list. Backstrom has four goals and 17 points in the past nine games. Holtby is 7-0-0 with a 1.71 GAA in his past eight games. ... Wood has two goals and three points in the past two games. Cammalleri has three assists in the past two games.

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