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Tuesday, December 21st (All times eastern)

New Jersey Devils (9-21-2) at Washington Capitals (19-12-4), 7:30 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Washington Capitals will try to win consecutive games for the first time this month when they welcome the lowly New Jersey Devils for tonight's battle at the Verizon Center.

The Capitals had compiled an 0-6-2 record during an eight-game losing streak, but were finally able to end the skid with Sunday's victory in Ottawa. Tonight, Washington will try to win two in a row for the first time since a four-game winning streak from Nov. 24-Dec. 1.

The recent cold streak has dropped Washington to second place in the Southeast Division and the Caps enter tonight one point behind Atlanta for first. The Thrashers are playing tonight against St. Louis.

New Jersey, meanwhile, has struggled all year long and with 20 points is ahead of only the New York Islanders in the Eastern Conference. The Devils are just 1-7-0 in the month of December and were slammed, 7-1, by the Thrashers in their most recent game this past Saturday.

The Devils did notch a shocking 5-0 win over the Caps the last time the clubs met in New Jersey on Nov. 22. Jason Arnott scored twice for the Devs in that game and Johan Hedberg made 30 saves to register the shutout as New Jersey avenged a 7-2 setback in Washington on Oct. 9.

Jersey has taken four of six in this series overall, but the Devils have lost two straight and three out of four in D.C.

The Capitals made their way back into the win column on Sunday, but not before falling behind by two goals to the host Senators. Ottawa scored the only two goals of the opening period, but Mathieu Perreault scored twice for Washington during a three-goal outburst in the second period to help lift the Caps to the 3-2 decision.

Eric Fehr also lit the lamp and Michal Neuvirth made 24 saves for Washington, which avoided its first nine-game slide since 2007.

"After that first period we needed a good second period, and I thought we played really good from the second to the end," Perreault said.

Fehr is expected to miss tonight's game to attend the funeral of his grandmother, while fellow forward Alexander Semin could sit out his fourth straight game with flu-like symptoms and a lower-body injury.

The Capitals will have a chance to end another skid tonight as the club has lost five straight on home ice since beating Carolina on Nov. 28. Washington is 12-4-3 as the host this season.

New Jersey wasn't competitive for very long in Sunday's loss at Atlanta. The Thrashers scored the first four goals of the game before Ilya Kovalchuk got New Jersey on the board with 4:17 left in the second period. Atlanta scored three more times in the third to make it a laugher.

"Everything went wrong," Kovalchuk said. "I don't know what ... it's unacceptable. It's embarrassing. I don't know, that's all I can say."

Martin Brodeur was pulled in the second period after allowing four goals on 15 shots and Hedberg finished the game for the Devils, making four saves in relief.

The Devils will also try to end a lengthy road losing streak tonight before returning home for a four-game stint in Newark. New Jersey, which has a dismal 4-13-0 road record this year, has lost its last eight away from the Garden State since notching a victory in Chicago on Nov. 3.

12/21 11:19:35 ET


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