Capitals build early lead, hold off Devils

League: NHL

Posted on: 11 Nov, 2023 at 02:48 AM

Credit: John Jones-USA TODAY Sports

Evgeny Kuznetsov scored two goals and the visiting Washington Capitals built a three-goal lead before holding on to defeat the New Jersey Devils 4-2 on Friday night in Newark, N.J.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel had a goal and an assist and Beck Malenstyn also scored for the Capitals, who had lost two of three (1-1-1). Tom Wilson had two assists and Charlie Lindgren made 24 saves in his third start of the season.

Timo Meier and Dawson Mercer scored for the Devils. Vitek Vanecek was pulled after allowing two goals on five shots, and Akira Schmid made 18 saves. New Jersey has lost three of four.

Trailing 3-0 after two periods, the Devils struck twice in the first half of the third period.

Meier got New Jersey on the board at 7:13 of the third when he knocked in the rebound of Michael McLeod's shot from the point.

Mercer pulled the Devils within 3-2 at 9:12. Tyler Toffoli, skating along the left boards on the rush, back-handed the puck across the ice and a wide-open Mercer tapped it in from the right post.

With Schmid pulled for an extra skater, Kuznetsov scored into the empty net at 18:09 for the 4-2 final.

Aube-Kubel, called up earlier in the day from Hershey of the American Hockey League, gave the Capitals a 1-0 lead at 10:22 of the first period. Rasmus Sandin circled behind the Devils' net and passed out to Kubel, who scored on a one-timer from the right circle.

Malenstyn made it 2-0 just 15 seconds later when he took a pass from Aube-Kubel on the rush and beat Schmid with a shot from the right circle at 10:37.

Kuznetsov increased the lead to 3-0 at 6:34 of the second period. Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson got behind the New Jersey defense and Wilson passed across the crease to Kuznetsov, who redirected the puck home.

Capitals defenseman Martin Fehervary left the game in the second period with a lower-body injury and defenseman Sandin left late in the third period.

--Field Level Media