For the second time in 4 games the Washington Capitals are facing another backend of back to back games on the road. After suffering a 7-6 OT loss last week to Pittsburgh on the second night, the Caps will look to win their first road game in New Jersey vs the Devils. The Caps have 10 remaining back to backs this season. The Caps were 21-15-5 on the road last season.
A new face to the lineup tonight as goalie Pheonix Copley will get the net as Braden Holtby takes his first rest of the year. It will be interesting to see how Copley fares as the Caps were lucky to have Phillip Grubauer backing up Holtby last few seasons. In 2016-17 Copley appeared in one game for the St. Louis Blues though he'd probably like to forget about that one as the he gave up 5 goals on 29 shots. In 41 games last year in AHL Hershey he recorded 2 shutouts and a 2.91 GAA with a .896% SV.
The Caps are scoring with ease so far after 3 games. They have 18 goals which set a new team record after the first three games. Washington had 17 goals in first three back in 1988-89.
Evgeny Kuznetsov leads the way with 3G's and 4A's for 7 points as he is coming off a four point night last night in a 5-2 win over Vegas. Kuzy, as he is affectionately know in DC, looks like an early Hart Trophy candidate. He has the skill to win this award, just needs to be consistent.
Alex Ovechkin scored twice vs Vegas giving him 4 on the year and placing him 17th all-time as he moved ahead of Bobby Hull on Wednedsday night.
Jakub Vrana has looked especially fast this season so far. The diminutive forward playing on a line with Nicklas Backstrom and TJ Oshie has proven he can score in this league with a great playoffs. Now it's time for consistency.
The Caps face reigning Hart Trophy winner tonight in Taylor Hall and Cory Schneider is out as the Devils will start Keith Kinkaid.