For a bit, it looked like the monkey was coming off the Caps’ back. Two late goals in the third period by Mike Ribeiro and Mike Green – the first in the season for both – tied up the game and sent it into overtime. The New Jersey Devils were having none of it, though. With just under twenty seconds left in the extra period, Ilya Kovalchuk slammed the puck past goalie Michal Neuvirth. The Devils preserved their undefeated start to the season with the 3-2 win.
Washington is the last NHL team to register a point for this season; they are now 0-3-1 and last in the Southeast. Neuvirth was the bright spot in the game, registering 32 saves on 35 shots. Despite the loss, coach Adam Oates was optimistic. “I think tonight was an example of we did [work]. And it was great to see,” said Oates.
“The first question was, we haven’t played for 60 minutes. Well, we did tonight. It was a lot of growing pains, if you will, but the guys did their job. You obviously want the win, but we did a lot of good things.”
Next game is Sunday against Buffalo at the Verizon Center.