Sudden thoughts and second thoughts as the Capitals try to digest Thursday night’s come-from-ahead 3-2 loss to the Devils and look ahead to Saturday’s noon rematch:
It’s not easy without Green: The Caps were hoping to get defenseman Mike Green back in the lineup Thursday night, but after taking a few line rushes with healthy scratch Roman Hamrlik, Green decided it was best to give his groin at least another day of rest before testing it again at Friday’s practice [11 a.m., Kettler Capitals Iceplex]. The Caps are 0-2-0 without Green in the lineup this season.
“Not good enough yet,” Caps coach Adam Oates said. “I’m sure we’ll talk about it [Friday].”
Power surge: With power-play goals from Mathieu Perreault and Mike Ribeiro the Caps went 2-for-4 on the man-advantage. They are red-hot on the power play, scoring 10 times on 23 attempts in their last eight games [43.5 percent]. Overall, the Caps are now third in the NHL at 26.8 percent.
More bright spots: The Capitals outhit New Jersey 30-9 and blocked 18 shots compared to New Jersey’s 11. They also won 58 percent of their faceoffs, led by Nicklas Backstrom’s 11. However, a key defensive zone faceoff lost by Ribeiro directly led to Andrei Loktionov’s game-tying goal in the third period.
Goalie news: Braden Holtby started his fifth consecutive game for the first time in his career and is now 3-2 in those five stars. He stopped 34 of the 37 shots he faced and had little chance on any of the three goals.
Brouwer watch: With two assists, including a strong move to the net that resulted in Perreault’s rebound goal, Troy Brouwer tallied his second multi-point game of the season and 23rd of his career. Perreault scored his second goal of the season and now has one goal and three assists in his last three games.
Minute muncher: Defenseman John Carlson skated a team-high 30:34 and led the team with five blocked shots. Alex Ovechkin recorded a team-high four shots and tied for the team lead with four hits.