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Caps

Yesterday, we talked about the Devils had to stop worrying about what other teams were doing and just win a game. Well, that didn't happen. They didn't even get an overtime point and now likely have to go 6-1 the rest of the way to make the playoffs, which includes a two-game sweep of the Rangers in the final week.

So tonight, the Devils have no choice but to sit back and root for the other teams. The Senators are off tonight, but they're completely out of reach. The Islanders are not "untouchable" but they're a pretty difficult team to catch.

Tags: Blueshirts, Broadway Blueshirts, Buffalo Sabres, Capitals, Caps, Devils, Devs, Evgeni Nabokov, Flyers, Islanders, Isles, Jets, Lightning, New Jersey Devils, New York Islanders, New York Rangers, Philadelphia Flyers, Philly, Rangers, Rick Nash, Sabres, Scoreboard Watching, Tampa Bay Lightning, Washington Capitals, Winnipeg Jets
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Ilya Kovalchuk and Patrik Elias teamed up for the game-winning goal in New Jersey's 3-2 win over Washington Thursday.

Who:? New Jersey Devils at Washington Capitals

When: ?Noon ET; Pregame show at 11:30 a.m. ET

Tags: Capitals, Caps, Devils, Devs, Gameday, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals
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Links: Pregame thread | Twitter | NHL.com recap

I'm not going to say the Devils stole this one, because they played well enough to win, but boy, the Caps' penalty problems certainly got them going in the third. With a noon start coming Saturday, this was a big win for the Devils and they could ice what's left of the Caps' season with a sweep of this two-game series. Some thoughts...

Dueling Russians: Alex Ovechkin came out firing on all cylinders in the first two periods, playing with the jump and speed that he used to display on a regular basis. There was the ridiculous undressing of Bryce Salvador and the spin move that left Henrik Tallinder useless and finally an end-to-end rush that he shot wide. It was vintage Ovechkin for 40 minutes and although he didn't score, it appeared only a matter of time before Ovi buried one. But then all of a sudden to star the third, Ilya Kovalchuk seemed liked a different player. Perhaps energized by Ovi's sudden resurgence or pissed off by his team's poor effort in the second period, Kovy was all over the ice in the third. Even before he scored the game-winning goal on a picture-perfect one-time setup from Patrik Elias, Kovy was rushing Caps goalie Braden Holtby and drawing penalties with strong work along the boards. It was always like Kovy realized there was nothing else going for the Devils tonight and took it upon himself to be the best player on the ice for the final 20 minutes. Of course, it helped that he basically played the entire period because of how much time the Devils spent on the power play during the third. Still, on nights like tonight, we're reminded that the Devils have something that only a handful of other teams have: a player that is the most skilled player 95 percent of the time he's on the ice. I mean, really, how many other players could've taken the shot that he scored the game winner on? Just fantastic.

Tags: ADAM HENRIQUE, Adam Larsson, Alex Ovechkin, Andrei Loktionov, Capitals, Caps, DAVID CLARKSON, Devils, Devs, HENRIK TALLINDER, Ilya Kovalchuk, Krys Barch, MARK FAYNE, New Jersey Devils, PATRIK ELIAS, Pete DeBoer, Peter Harrold, Editorial Aside, Postgame Thoughts, Washington Capitals
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The last time the Devils and Capitals met, Ilya Kovalchuk scored the game-winning goal in overtime.

Who:? New Jersey Devils at Washington Capitals

When: 7:00 p.m. ET; Pregame show at 6:30 p.m. ET

Tags: Capitals, Caps, Devils, Devs, Gameday, gameday, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals
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Game links: Pregame thread | Twitter | AP Recap

The Devils are still unbeaten and continue to find different ways to get it done on a night by night basis. They struggled with penalties, partly because of Pete DeBoer, and had a rough first period for the second straight game, but came out of it 3-0-0 after an OT victory. Some thoughts...

Slow starts: It was almost like a carbon copy of the game Tuesday night in the sense that the Devils came out very sluggish and were very fortunate to not get in an early hole. The Capitals certainly jumped on them, but Martin Brodeur was the difference maker yet again. The Devils can't keep counting on Marty to bust them out of these early-game slumps because eventually they will find a team that will put them in a 3-0 hole before they snap out of it. The word out of the locker room and after the game was making sure this doesn't become a habit, but after two straight games, it's clearly a concern.

Tags: Adam Oates, Capitals, Caps, Devils, Devs, New Jersey Devils, Pete DeBoer, Editorial Aside, Postgame Thoughts, Washington Capitals
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After changing things up a bit for Thursday's practice, the Devils apparently liked what they saw out there. At least to start, Mattias Tedenby will start on the top line with Travis Zajac and Ilya Kovalchuk, while Dainius Zubrus slides down to second-line winger. Krys Barch will make his season debut, replacing Cam Janssen on the fourth line next to Stefan Matteau and Jacob Josefson.

Here's the official lineup and D pairings from today's morning skate:

Forwards????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? Defense

Tags: Capitals, Caps, DAINIUS ZUBRUS, Devils, Devs, Lineup Changes, MATTIAS TEDENBY, New Jersey Devils, Washington Capitals
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The Devils have already played division foes in the Islanders and Flyers, but Friday's game against old friend Adam Oates and his new team, the Washington Capitals, certainly deserves a special shade of highlighter on the calendar. Besides facing their former assistant coach and a very good one at that, Oates' Caps are 0-3-0 after Thursday night.

Old friends Pete DeBoer, left, and Adam Oates, right, ready for a reunion Friday night.

In the Devils' locker room Thursday afternoon, the "D" appeared to be the phrase of the day.

Tags: Adam Oates, Capitals, Caps, Devils, Devs, New Jersey Devils, Pete DeBoer, Upcoming Matchup, Washington Capitals
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