The Washington Capitals snapped a two game losing streak in New Jersey. After an unimpressive showing against Dallas on Tuesday, the Caps got better in each period on Friday for a convincing road win in New Jersey.
Down a man with Mike Knuble in the box, Jason Chimera came though with some short-handed beauty to give the Caps a 2-1 lead. It was the Capitals first shorthanded goal of the season. The Devils were in the middle of a line change when Chimera controlled the puck on the boards and split the defense for the breakaway chance against Martin Brodeur. The play was set up by Troy Brouwer’s hard work on the boards.
The Caps would extend the margin as Marcus Johansson gave Washington a two goal lead with under ten minutes to play. It started on a hard slap shot from the point which was deflected by a Devils’ defenseman right to Johansson’s stick as he was streaking wide towards the net. He quickly flipped the backhand past a sprawling Brodeur for his 6th of the season. A John Erskine penalty with just three minutes to play would give the Devils a chance to make it interesting but Tomas Vokoun would hold New Jersey scoreless in the final two periods for the 3-1 win.
Mike Green, who injured his right leg on an awkward hit against the boards in the first period, did not play in the third. He tested the leg in the second on two shifts but was clearly in pain on the bench and did not return in the third.
In addition to Green, the Caps played the final period without Alexander Semin. The forward, however, was not injured but benched by head coach Bruce Boudreau. The Caps coach said after the game that Semin "didn't look like he had it tonight," and as a result, he was on the ice for his last shift with 4:30 remaining in the second period. Without Semin, the Caps would power on behind Chimera and Johansson for the clinching third period scores.
The Caps return home tomorrow to face these same Devils at Verizon Center.