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PostPosted: Wed Nov 07, 2018 9:08 am 
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If the New Jersey Devils wish to again consider themselves a serious playoff contender this season [url=http://www.officialredwings.com/authentic-adidas-jonathan-ericsson-jersey]Jonathan Ericsson Jersey[/url] , there is no better test early on than to skate against the defending Stanley Cup champions.That is precisely what the Devils (1-0-0) will do Thursday night when they play their home opener at Prudential Center against the Washington Capitals (2-0-1).The Devils earned their first playoff berth in six seasons a year ago, finishing eighth in the Eastern Conference, before falling to the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round. They started 2018-19 on the right foot last Saturday, skating to a 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers as part of the NHL’s Global Series in Gothenburg, Sweden.Article continues below ...“I think we grew as a team, really got that brotherhood together, going all over Europe, it really brought everyone closer together,” Devils goalie Keith Kinkaid said of the team’s week-long trip to Switzerland and Sweden. “And I think it showed out there. All the hard work really added up.”Veteran forwards Kyle Palmieri and Travis Zajac both scored twice in the win, while Miles Wood added a pair of assists and Kinkaid stopped 17 of 19 shots.Now, after some long travel home, one practice and a couple days off, the Devils host a division rival that won hockey’s ultimate prize last spring.“You have your home opener, against the defending Stanley Cup champs, so we’re expecting our guys to be ready to go, our fans and building to be excited,” said Devils coach John Hynes.Kinkaid, who won a career-high 26 games last season while filling in for injured No. 1 goalie Cory Schneider, will start against the Capitals. Schneider remains sidelined following offseason hip surgery and is getting closer to a return to action.With Washington playing on back-to-back nights [url=http://www.officialredwings.com/authentic-adidas-justin-abdelkader-jersey]Womens Justin Abdelkader Jersey[/url] , 26-year-old backup Pheonix Copley will make his Capitals debut between the pipes Thursday. It will be only his second career NHL game — and third appearance overall.In his only other NHL start, Copley allowed five goals on 29 shots for the St. Louis Blues in a loss to the Winnipeg Jets on Jan. 21, 2017. Last year with Hershey in the AHL, Copley was 15-17-6 with a 2.91 GAA and .896 save percentage.“My mindset is to get better every game, give the team a chance to win every time they give me an opportunity to play,” Copley told the team’s web site.The Capitals are coming off a 5-2 home-ice victory over the Vegas Golden Knights in a Stanley Cup rematch Wednesday night. Washington already has 18 goals through the season’s first three games.Alex Ovechkin scored a pair against the Golden Knights, giving him four goals on the season. His 611 career goals move Ovechkin past Bobby Hull for 17th place on the NHL’s all-time list.Ovechkin’s teammate T.J. Oshie also netted his fourth goal; and both players have scored goals in all three games, so far.The No. 1 Caps star on Wednesday, though, was Evgeny Kuznetsov, who had four points with a goal and three assists.“He’s my favorite player to watch play in the NHL,” Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom told NBCSN. “He’s just dancing out there.”The Devils beat the Capitals only once at the Prudential Center the past four seasons; and last year Washington won three of four games overall with New Jersey’s only win being an overtime victory on home ice. PHILADELPHIA (AP) Taylor Hall answered a vicious check in the best possible way – by netting the tying goal that helped the Devils snap a four-game losing streak.Hall scored twice in regulation, Drew Stafford had the only tally in the shootout and New Jersey beat the Philadelphia Flyers 5-4 on Tuesday night.John Moore and Nico Hischier also tallied goals in regulation for the Devils.Hall was leveled by Radko Gudas just after shooting from a sharp angle 4:08 into the second period. He missed the remainder of the period, going through the concussion protocol, but returned in the third and scored his second of the night with 1:21 left in regulation to tie it at 3. Hischier’s shot from the slot rebounded off Neuvirth to Hall, who roofed it for his 23rd of the season.”You want to feel like yourself and you want to come back and help your team win,” Hall said.Hall’s grit impressed Devils coach John Hynes.”He’s a driven kid,” Hynes said. ”It’s another game for him where I think it’s great for him and our team, the investment level he’s had. His ability to impact the game the right way and play the right way is fantastic.”Claude Giroux had a goal and an assist and Radko Gudas [url=http://www.officialredwings.com/authentic-adidas-luke-glendening-jersey]Luke Glendening Jersey[/url] , Travis Konecny and Scott Laughton also scored for the Flyers, who learned earlier Tuesday that starting goalie Brian Elliott will be out for at least five weeks.Philadelphia had its four-game winning streak snapped and remained in sixth place in the Eastern Conference, while the seventh-place Devils pulled within two points.”We’re not happy with that, but the effort and work ethic were good,” Flyers coach Dave Hakstol said.Keith Kinkaid made 31 saves and stopped all three Flyers attempts in the shootout.”I knew we had to get off this (losing streak),” Kinkaid said.Stafford, New Jersey’s second shooter, beat Michal Neuvirth through the five-hole to end it.Neuvirth, the Flyers’ backup, made 31 saves in his second straight start since Elliott was injured during Saturday’s shootout at Arizona. General manager Ron Hextall announced prior to the game that Elliott had abdominal surgery on Tuesday and will be out 5 to 6 weeks.”It’s definitely exciting, but I feel bad for (Elliott),” Neuvirth said of being elevated to No. 1. ”This is a team game. We are playing for each other.”The teams combined for six goals in an electrifying second period.After Hall’s first goal, Laughton’s tally 41 seconds later from close range put the Flyers ahead. And it was a two-goal advantage for Philadelphia when Gudas’ slap shot from the point whizzed past Kinkaid with 9:24 left in the period.Moore’s hard slap shot beat Neuvirth on the glove side with 6:43 remaining in the second to pull New Jersey within 3-2, but Giroux answered with a power play goal 2:42 later when his shot from a sharp angle deflected off the stick of Devils defenseman Ben Lovejoy and through Kinkaid’s legs.Ten seconds later, Hischier finished a 2-on-1 with a wrist shot over Neuvirth’s glove after a turnover by Ivan Provorov off the faceoff to make it 4-3.Konecny opened the scoring 1:54 into the contest with his 14th goal of the season and eighth in the last 13 games when he streaked down the right side and shot past Kinkaid.NOTES: In 41 games this season, Elliott has posted a 21-11-7 mark with a 2.72 goals-against average and .908 save percentage. … Hall has points in 15 straight games (11 goals, 12 assists). … New Jersey’s Brian Boyle (right shoulder) and John Quenneville (right knee) didn’t make the trip to Philadelphia and are day-to-day. … The teams tied the season series at 2 games apiece.UP NEXTDevils: Host Carolina on Thursday night.Flyers: At Columbus on Friday night.—


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