New Jersey Devils: Breakdown of Potential Playoff Opponents

NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 15: Nico Hischier
NEWARK, NJ - FEBRUARY 15: Nico Hischier /
1 of 5

For the first time in six seasons, the New Jersey Devils have qualified for the Stanley Cup Playoffs. Their ticket has been punched, but their opponent isn’t set in stone just yet. So let’s breakdown their potential first round foes.

(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
(Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /
  1. Washington Capitals (2-0-1 vs NJD)

The Capitals are the Metropolitan Division champions and have won two 5-2 decisions over the Devils this season. The Devils beat the Capitals just once this season, when Taylor Hall scored an overtime winner to lift the Devils to a 4-3 victory at home.

The two teams still have one game left to play against each other. The Capitals also possess the league’s top goal scorer in Alex Ovechkin, who has put the puck in the back of the net 47 times this year. The Capitals also have other top players such as Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie, Evgeny Kuznetsov and John Carlson. Their goaltender, Braden Holtby has won 33 games this season and has a 2.99 GAA and .908 save-percentage. In 2016, he tied Martin Brodeur for most wins (48) in a season by a goalie and won the Vezina trophy that same year.

The Caps are a well oiled machine with stars and playoff experience. They have a good goalie and will have home-ice advantage. It would be a tough challenge for the Devils, but the Caps are prone to playoff letdowns.