The Washington Capitals lost back-to-back games for only the second time this weekend and were outscored by their opponents 10-4. The Caps will attempt to buck that trend Monday night on the road against the New Jersey Devils, a team that the Caps scored seven goals against in their prior meeting this season.
Washington lost to the Atlanta Thrashers 5-0 Friday, their first shutout loss since December 2009, and followed that with a 5-4 shootout loss to the Philadelphia Flyers Saturday despite coming back from two third period deficits. Michal Neuvirth will get the start in goal Monday for Washington after starting Saturday and entering in a relief appearance Friday for Braden Holtby, who surrendered three goals in the game's first 10 minutes.
Not making the trip to New Jersey, however, is Mike Knuble. Knuble suffered an facial injury Friday after being struck with a puck in the second period. He did not return after his injury and did not play Saturday.
In Washington's home opener October 9, the Capitals defeated the Devils 7-2, scoring six unanswered goals and chasing Devils goaltender Martin Brodeur. Brodeur will not need to worry about that happening again because he will not play Monday due to a bruised elbow that will keep him out of action for at least two weeks. In Brodeur's absence, veteran Johan Hedberg will start Monday.
Brodeur is not the only key player out for New Jersey. Zach Parise is out indefinitely after knee surgery, while captain Jamie Langenbrunner will also sit out Monday's game with a neck injury. Defenseman Matt Taormina sprained his left ankle in practice last week and has yet to return to skating.
With the Devils' injury woes piling up, the team is looking to some of its all-time greats to carry the load. Jason Arnott leads the team with six goals and Patrik Elias has a team-high 12 points. New Jersey's offense has yet to materialize, scoring only 1.8 goals per game, worst in the NHL, to go along with a 10.2% power play, second-to-last in the league.