EditorsNote: tweaked 2nd graf
Nico Hischier scored twice and backup goaltender Louis Domingue sparkled in goal as the visiting New Jersey Devils claimed an emphatic 5-1 upset victory over the Washington Capitals on Saturday night.
With No. 1 goalie Mackenzie Blackwood — as well as rookie forward Jack Hughes — out of action due to an upper-body injury, the Devils were forced to turn to Domingue. He responded with a 33-save performance for just his second win of the season.
Domingue, who spent the first six weeks of the season in the minors, delivered key saves on Alex Ovechkin when his team held a 1-0 lead, Carl Hagelin when it was 2-0, then Radko Gudas early in the third period.
At the other end, Hischier led the Devils, opening the scoring 5:27 into the game by showing off his speed and skill. Hischier gained the puck at the offensive blue line during a two-on-one rush and instead of passing drove to the net, held off the check and slid the puck into the cage.
Nikita Gusev’s eighth goal of the season doubled the Devils’ lead early in the second period. Seconds after the visitors failed to convert on a power play, Will Butcher’s long shot was stopped but the rebound came to Gusev at the doorstep and he made no mistake.
Then Blake Coleman’s short-handed tally at the 6:48 mark of the middle frame made it a three-goal edge. Coleman received the cross-ice pass from Travis Zajac during an odd-man rush and neatly deposited a backhander on the deke to net his 15th goal of the season.
Washington’s Jakub Vrana give the Capitals new life with a power-play goal 100 seconds later — he pounced on a loose puck for his 20th of the season — but Hischier’s second of the night soon after made it a 4-1 contest.
While the Devils had the Caps running around in their zone, Hischier was set up for a one-timer at the right faceoff dot and hit the top corner for his 12th goal of the season.
Miles Wood’s empty-net goal at 15:04 of the third period rounded out the scoring.
Goalie Braden Holtby stopped 17 shots for the Capitals, who have dropped two straight.
—Field Level Media