New Jersey (6-7-2) at Washington (6-9-0), 1:00 pm EST
WASHINGTON (Ticker) -- Martin Brodeur is expected to return to the ice this afternoon in Washington as the Devils try to snap a four-game losing streak when the Capitals begin a home-and-home series.
The Devils hope that getting Brodeur, who has been sidelined with a sprained knee, back in net will be the remedy for their slump.
The two-time Vezina winner has missed six straight games.
On Tuesday, New Jersey lost a 4-1 decision to the New York
Islanders. Making his sixth consecutive start in the absence of
Brodeur, Scott Clemmensen
allowed four goals on 20 shots in falling to 2-2-2 this season.
Capitals goalie Olie Kolzig is questionable, at best, for this weekend's series against the after tweaking a nagging groin muscle strain Thursday during practice.
Any extended absence for Kolzig would be a huge blow to the Capitals. The veteran has often been the club's best player, and his steady play in net is largely responsible for the team's six victories.
Team officials declined to divulge the severity of Kolzig's injury.
Backup Brent Johnson is expected to make his third start today. Johnson is 0-2-0 with a 6.34 goals against average.
The top overall pick in 2004, Ovechkin is one of the early
leading contenders for this season's Calder Trophy. The
20-year-old Russian has scored two goals in each of his last two
games and three of his last five.
With five overall two-tally contests under his belt, Ovechkin is
tied with Philadelphia's Simon Gagne for the most multi-goal
performances this season. His 12 goals overall account for
one-third of Washington's total, the largest percentage in the
The Capitals enter Friday with wins in their previous two home
games. But on Tuesday, they suffered a 6-4 loss to the Toronto
Maple Leafs at Air Canada Centre. In addition to Ovechkin's
pair of goals, Ben Clymer and Matt Pettinger also tallied for
Defenseman Vladimir Malakhov scored the lone goal for the
Devils, who have not lost five straight games since dropping six
in a row from November 2-14, 2000.