New Jersey Devils center Jack Hughes (86) defends against Washington Capitals defenseman Dmitry Orlov (9) during the third period of an NHL hockey game Friday, April 2, 2021, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer)
- The Washington Capitals are strong road favorites as they face the New Jersey Devils on Sunday, April 4th, 2021
- Washington is 11-5-2 in this 2021 season on the road, while New Jersey is just 4-11-3 at home
- Read below for the odds and a preview of the game
The Washington Capitals got defensive on Friday night against the New Jersey Devils. They were able to absorb a Michael McLeod goal and get two goals from their defensemen in a 2-1 overtime win. The puck drops Sunday, April 4th, 2021 at 3 PM EST, with Colorado listed as significant favorites in the Golden Knights vs Avalanche odds.
Overall, Washington has won every matchup so far this season. That being said, aside from Friday night, most of these matchups have featured more goals being scored as opposed to less from Washington.
Washington Capitals vs New Jersey Devils Odds
|Team||Moneyline||Spread||Total at DraftKings|
|Washington Capitals||-165||-1.5 (+150)||O 6 (-110)|
|New Jersey Devils||+140||+1.5 (-182)||U 6 (-110)|
Odds as of April 3rd .
MacKenzie Blackwood Keeps New Jersey In Games
It is great to see Blackwood bouncing back after the post-COVID drop that so many New Jersey Devils players experienced. Yes, the New Jersey Devils home record is one of the worst in the NHL but that is not the fault of the goaltender. He stopped 38 of 40 shots on Friday night as Blackwood stole a point for the home team.
With 38 saves tonight, Mackenzie Blackwood’s SV% is up to .913 on the season after being around .900 a couple of weeks ago.
He has a .937 SV% in his last 7 starts and is 4-1-2 across that stretch. Safe to say he’s returning to form #NJDevils
— Alex Chauvancy (@a_chauvancy23) April 3, 2021
Blackwood is just not getting the offensive support at home especially. New Jersey averages just 2.4 goals per game overall which does not help his margin for error.
Blackwood has faced 40+ shots in three consecutive games and has played into overtime during consecutive starts. Also, the New Jersey goaltender has looked more composed and less nervous these past seven starts as he has rounded back into shape after the pause.
When the Washington Defense Provides Offense
One of the more underrated keys to the Washington season has been John Carlson. When Carlson has confidence in all phases, the Washington Capitals are that much tougher of a team to beat. There is a reason why Carlson remains on the fringe to win the Norris Trophy. When one gets offensive production from Carlson and then gets unexpected contributions from Dmitry Orlov, Washington just becomes daunting to face.
There are some highlights, and then there is this highlight-reel goal by Orlov.
Orlov is one of those defensive players that may have flaws but can definitely bring an offensive edge. He now has four goals in his last 14 games after tallying just one during his first 18. Also, the Capitals’ defender had six shots on goal on Friday equaling Alex Ovechkin.
2021 Stanley Cup Odds Tracker
The good news for both teams is that there are not too many injuries of significance and no one is on COVID protocol.
Lars Eller played in his third game since returning from injury and immediately made an impact on Washington’s first goal.
Lars Eller got the primary assist on Carlson’s goal tonight and was a catalyst for good plays all over the ice!#CapsDevils @VirginiaLottery Rink Rat of the Night pic.twitter.com/RtxOJu0USE
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) April 3, 2021
As for New Jersey, the Devils are awaiting the return of Nico Hischier, their captain, to the lineup. He’s practicing but no timetable has been indicated as to a possible return for the top-line center.
#NJDevils Lindy Ruff update on Nico Hischier: “He’s doing well, skating, progressing. We’ll get him back when he’s ready.”
— Erika Wachter (@ErikaWachter) April 2, 2021
Capitals vs Devils Best Bet
While the Capitals do not always play their best hockey, they do rise to the occasion when needed in these matchups versus the Devils. Washington tends to often strike even during stretches of play where New Jersey appears to grossly outplay them. That was on full display Friday night.
Expect New Jersey to go back to MacKenzie Blackwood as the starting goalie on Sunday, March 4th, for his ability to keep the Devils in games. Washington may turn to Ilya Samsonov in net or it could be Vitek Vanecek again. Samsonov was held out on Friday night and may be on Easter Sunday as a precaution.
Ilya Samsonov was pulled from the game early by a concussion protocol spotter. He was then cleared and allowed to return, per Laviolette.
On why he put Samsonov back in with three ish mins left in the first: “It was his game so he was going back in when he was ready.”
— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) April 2, 2021
Washington has been able to win a variety of ways against New Jersey this year and there is little reason to indicate why that would change on Sunday. Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals are our moneyline pick.
Pick: Capitals (-165)
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A journalist veteran for over two decades, Chris has taught the gamut of fantasy hockey sports online from injuries to news to prospects, and more. He has bet on several sports and written sports betting articles about the NBA, MLB, NCAA football, the NFL, and NHL for USA Today.