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Devils grind out win against Capitals

Apr 4, 2014, 9:41 PM EDT

The New Jersey Devils came into Friday’s game against the Washington Capitals a little light on forwards and only became more shorthanded as the contest went along, but they still found a way to grind out a 2-1 win.

The Devils didn’t take any chances with that tricky shootout business, either, winning it in regulation.

Alex Ovechkin opened up the scoring with an increasingly rare even-strength goal:

Tuomo Ruutu found the net to tie things up for the Devils later on:

Ryan Carter scored a beauty of a game-winner for the Devils:

Carter indicated that the Devils were outworked earlier in the contest, but eventually turned that tide against the Caps (who probably cringe on quitting/laziness-type narratives at this point).

With this victory, the Devils now have 82 standings points with five games left. Washington slides to 11th with 81 (and also five games remaining).

It was a great night in general for the Devils (and to some extent, the ninth-ranked Toronto Maple Leafs, who were idle), as the Chicago Blackhawks snagged a late regulation win against the Columbus Blue Jackets as well.

Much like the Devils and Capitals, the Blue Jackets only have five games left this season, although they’re still fairly comfortable with 85 standings points. (Again, things are rosier for the Maple Leafs, who have just four games left but 84 points).

Here’s how everything looks for the Devils, Capitals and other East squads:

source:

It might not be pretty as the Devils, Capitals and other East teams approach the final stretch, yet it may just come down to who is willing to fight through it. New Jersey was that team, at least tonight.

  1. martysbetter - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    Forgot to mention that the Devils outworked the Capitals with only 7 forwards available for the majority of the 3rd period – amazing heart and soul win, WE’RE STILL ALIVE!

    • jaguar0413 - Apr 4, 2014 at 9:52 PM

      To make it fair, Adam Oates decided to only play 9 forwards…so not that impressive. Haha

    • blomfeld - Apr 5, 2014 at 12:16 AM

      GOOD-BYE OVI …

  2. capspats - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:02 PM

    Ugh. I’m no coach, but i think everyone can see Oates is being too cute. Throwing ovi out there with beagle (14 career assists) and johansson, who’s an average third liner at best. Kuznetsov seemed to be playing good but now he’s on the fourth line. I think these guys just don’t care, you could see terrible defensive play on that game winning goal. McPhee will be gone and Oates should be too.
    That was also a great game by New Jersey, they showed that they really wanted this. even tho they were down to 7 forwards at one point on the game, they were full of energy and def. deserved it over my caps

    • martysbetter - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:09 PM

      It seems to me like Oates went to the Deboer school of coaching – rather than doing the logical thing and putting scorers with playmakers it seems like they both like to put out 4 lines of shooter/playmaker/grinder (no matter the positions) rather than putting out a high scoring top line with a 3rd line full of grinders..

  3. drewsylvania - Apr 4, 2014 at 10:43 PM

    I would have benched Ovi.

  4. billiam55 - Apr 5, 2014 at 12:14 AM

    Capitals have some big decisions to make this off season.

  5. wethog66 - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:42 AM

    In regards to the 13/14 Caps:

  6. bmoreredfury311 - Apr 5, 2014 at 9:43 AM

    Ovi was the one that scored tonight. Ovi has his problems but hes not the only player on the Caps. Oates line matches are crazy bad. The 4th line should of been the 2nd line. But in the long run this is the best thing that can happen for this franchise.

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