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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Friday, February 29th (All times eastern)

Washington Capitals (29-27-8) at New Jersey Devils (37-21-6), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Washington Capitals could have some new faces in the lineup tonight, when they visit the New Jersey Devils for a battle at the Prudential Center.

The Capitals picked up three players before Tuesday's trade deadline, acquiring goaltender Cristobal Huet from Montreal, and forwards Sergei Fedorov and Matt Cooke from Columbus and Vancouver, respectively.

The deal for Huet was one of the biggest surprises at the deadline, as the Canadiens, who are just one point out of first place in the Northeast Division, gave up their primary goaltender for a second-round pick in 2009.

Huet, who is 21-12-6 with a 2.55 goals against average this year, is expected to see his first action between the pipes for the Capitals tonight.

Fedorov is a former Hart Trophy winner and three-time Stanley Cup champion, but at 38 years old is not quite the offensive force that he once was. The Russian has nine goals and 19 assists in 50 games this season. Fedorov is questionable for tonight's test after suffering a leg injury in last Saturday's game for Columbus.

Cooke has seven goals and nine assists in 61 games this season and is expected to make his Caps debut this evening.

Washington ended a three-game slide with Tuesday's home win over Minnesota. Brooks Laich scored twice and Olaf Kolzig made 34 saves, as the Capitals defeated the Wild, 4-1, at Verizon Center.

Shaone Morrisonn and Eric Fehr also scored for the Capitals, who are five points behind Carolina for first place in the Southeast Division. Washington is also five points in back of Philadelphia and Buffalo for the eighth and final playoff seed in the Eastern Conference.

The Capitals are 13-14-5 as the visiting team this year and have dropped three of their last four road games.

The Devils, meanwhile, had a five-game winning streak halted Tuesday in Raleigh, as Sergei Samsonov scored a pair of goals, including the game-winner in overtime to lift the Carolina Hurricanes to a 2-1 victory.

In the extra session, Samsonov streaked down the right boards, corralled a bouncing puck and snapped a wrister from the right circle that Martin Brodeur turned aside. However, Samsonov drove hard to the net and buried the rebound past the stick of Brodeur at the 1:36 mark.

Brian Gionta scored for the Devils, while Brodeur stopped 34-of-36 shots for New Jersey, which extended its stretch of games with at least one point to nine in a row (7-0-2).

The Devils now have 80 points on the season and are first in the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division. Pittsburgh is one point behind New Jersey for both spots.

New Jersey is 21-11-1 as the hosts this year and has won five of its last six tests in Newark. After tonight's tilt, the Devils will play six of their next seven games on the road.

The Devils are 2-1 against Washington this season and have won three of four and nine of the last 11 encounters between the clubs.

The Caps have dropped eight of nine and 10 of 12 in Jersey, but this is just their second stop to the Prudential Center, which opened earlier this season. Washington played its first game at the Rock on December 7 and was handed a 3-2 setback.

02/29 10:42:16 ET


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