The Devils were two wins away from a trip to the White House last summer, but they didn’t quite make it there. Due to a quirk in the lockout-shortened NHL schedule, they will play two games in three days in Washington in a span of 48 hours. “It’s the first time I’ve done it in the NHL,” Devils coach Pete DeBoer said after practice Wednesday. “If you’re going to spend three nights somewhere, I can think of worse places than Washington.” The Devils will play the Capitals Thursday night at the Verizon Center. They are off tomorrow and play the Capitals again Saturday at noon. It is not something that usually happens during the regular season. “I haven’t seen this situation other than playoffs and obviously, that’s a different time of year,” Stephen Gionta said. “So we will see how it plays out in the next couple of days.” Martin Brodeur, who played in 40 of the Devils’ 48 games in the lockout-shortened season of 1995, said he never has experienced anything like it during the regular season over his 20-year professional career. “It’s like the first two games of a playoff series. Definitely for us, it’s a different atmosphere to go on the road and have to stay in the same hotel room for three days,” he said. The Devils will have some time to spend in D.C., with plenty of sights to see and things to do. “It’s just a regular day off for us. I’m sure we are going to skate. It’s a 12’oclock game [Saturday]. I think we will hang out. Time on the road is always productive for the guys to get together,” Brodeur said. But DeBoer wasn’t ready to be a tour guide just yet. “I think we’ve got a team dinner planned. No White House tours, if that’s what you’re asking.” The NHL had to schedule the games around other events going on in the arenas, and the Wizards, who also play in the Verizon Center, have a home game tomorrow night, and one Saturday night after the hockey game. The Caps also play two games in Winnipeg on successive nights, later in the season — March 21 and 22 — but that is more logical, since Washington to Winnipeg is a long trip to make twice during the shortened season. One player who said the approach wouldn’t change during the trip was David Clarkson.
Devils head to Washington for D.C. blitz
New York Post | Feb 21