NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 24: Brooks Laich #21 of the Washington Capitals skates against the New York Rangers during their preseason game on September 24, 2009 at Madison Square Garden in New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Brooks Laich won't be playing, but the Caps need him badly. (Clydeorama)
The Washington Capitals are in Newark, New Jersey this evening to take on the Devils as they try to rebound from their very poor start and get their first win of the season. Washington is 0-3-0 on the campaign so far, allowing 14 goals while scoring only four. The Devils, who shut out the Flyers for a 3-0 win in their last game, are 2-0 on the season and are rested having been at home for over four days. This is a big one for the Capitals as they must stop the bleeding and get a win under their belt before a game Sunday against the hot Sabres.
Martin Brodeur will start in net for the Devils, just as he has in both prior Devils games this season. The ageless wonder has allowed one goal in two games and has a .977 GAA on the campaign and has always played the Capitals tough with the exception of a few games two seasons ago. On the injury front, the Devils are missing center Adam Henrique, who has a thumb injury and has yet to make his season debut. Other than that, coach Peter DeBoer will field a full lineup.
After another uninspiring performance from a Washington netminder, this time Michal Neuvirth, on Thursday, expect Braden Holtby to get the call in nets from Adam Oates. Holtby has allowed ten goals in two starts so far this season and while in no way is the slow start the goaltending’s issue, Washington does need its young tandem, especially Holtby, to play better. Both Brooks Laich (lower body) and Jack Hillen (upper body) are out and will not play. After another very poor game in all facets Thursday, the lineup is anyone’s guess; I would still wager that John Erskine is still sitting Friday.
Puck drops 7:07-ish. The game can be seen locally on Comcast SportsNet.
Harry Hawkings is a college student credentialed to cover the Capitals for RtR. Follow him on Twitter here for all your news needs this season.