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Devils 2, Capitals 1

The SportsXchange

NEWARK, N.J.-- Left wing Ryan Carter's third period goal at the Prudential Center Friday night snapped a deadlock and gave the New Jersey Devils a 2-1 win over the Washington Capitals.

Left wing Tuomo Ruutu also scored for New Jersey, which moved to 33-28-16 on the season.

Washington fell to 34-30-13 despite right wing Alex Ovechkin scoring his 49th goal of the season.

The Capitals and Devils each have five games remaining this season, and trail Eastern Conference wild card leaders Detroit and Columbus.

Washington entered the game four points behind the Blue Jackets and five points behind the Red Wings. New Jersey came into the match five points in back of Columbus and six points behind Detroit.

The Blue Jackets and Red Wings played Friday night.

The Capitals took the lead at the 10:12 mark of the first period on Ovechkin's 49th of the season. A slap shot from the left circle, it was his first five-on-five point in 16 games.

Ruutu evened the game at 1-1 at 12:39 into the second period, tallying his third goal with the Devils since being acquired from Carolina on trade deadline day. Ruutu tipped defenseman Eric Gelinas' shot past goaltender Jaroslav Halak, who made 29 saves.

That the Devils were in position to tie the game was due to the work of goaltender Cory Schneider, who kept the deficit at one until Ruutu's goal. Schneider finished with 30 saves, including a first period robbery of Capitals left wing Jason Chimera, and a series of stops on defenseman Julien Brouillette and center Nicklas Backstrom.

Both New Jersey and Washington had opportunities to take control of the game with their power plays, but were unable to do so. New Jersey went 0-for-5 with the man advantage, while Washington was 0-for-3.

NOTES: Friday night's game was the last in the regular season between the Metropolitan Division rivals. The match also marked the 193rd time the teams have met in the regular season. Washington entered the game with an all-time mark of 94-72-13-13 against the Devils. ... Friday's game was also the first of four on the road for Washington, before ending the regular season with two games at the Verizon Center against the reigning Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks and former Southeast Division rival Tampa Bay. ... Coming into the game, New Jersey had the NHL's best penalty kill, having yielded only 32 man-advantage goals on 244 power plays against. Of the 32 power play goals the Devils surrendered prior to Friday night, only 13 had come at the Prudential Center. ... Capitals RW Joel Ward was nominated for the Bill Masterton Trophy, the Washington chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association announced Friday morning. RW Jaromir Jagr is the New Jersey chapter's nominee.
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