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
3:27 PM Share
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
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
Scratched: Nate Schmidt, Taylor Chorney
Injured: Andre Burakovsky (hand), T.J. Oshie (upper body)
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.
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.
8 of the next 12 at home, time to pull away from the field...
we shall see.