The Washington Capitals lead the New Jersey Devils, 4-1, after two periods of their game tonight at the Verizon Center.
The Devils lead in shots, 27-21.
It's been the "grunt" players making the difference for Washington tonight. Fourth-liner Jay Beagle broke a 1-1 tie at 10 minutes of the second period. Aaron Steckel carried the puck down the side boards and drifted behind the net. He sent a pass to the front of the net, where Beagle one-timed the puck past Martin Brodeur for his first goal of the season.
Third-line left-winger Jason Chimera extended the lead to 3-1 at 12:39 of the middle period. Andrew Gordon started a routine clear play, sending the puck from his defensive zone to neutral ice. Chimera beat Devils' defenseman Mark Fayne to the puck, and broke in on a short breakaway. The left-winger dipped his shoulder and chipped the puck over Brodeur for his 200th career point.
New Jersey native John Carlson pushed the lead to 4-1 at 16:31 of the second period. Alexander Ovechkin carried the puck into the slot and lost it on a poke check. Carlson, trailing the play, hammered the loose puck past Brodeur for his fourth goal of the year.
The Devils had tied the game, 1-1, with a powerplay goal at 4:56 of the period. With Matt Bradley in the box for hooking, Jamie Langenbrunner held the puck in the slot. He tapped a pass to Patrik Elias in the circle, and the left-winger fired a shot past Michael Neuvirth for his seventh goal of the season.
The Devils haven't had success when trailing after two periods this season. New Jersey is 1-19-0 this season when losing after two periods. The Capitals, on the other hand, are 13-0-1 when leading after two periods.