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Three bold predictions: The Devils could catch the Caps idling

Three bold predictions: The Devils could catch the Caps idling

The trade deadline is done so it’s back to work for the Caps, who host the New Jersey Devils on Thursday (7 p.m., CSN). Here are three bold predictions for the game.

1. The Caps will trail after the first period

With the trade deadline in the rearview mirror, Kevin Shattenkirk in tow and the best record in the NHL, some of the players are likely asking the same question you are: Is it the playoffs yet? The New Jersey Devils, however, are facing another long summer with no hockey and may catch the Caps by surprise early on.

2. Kevin Shattenkirk will not register a point

In some ways, the first game with a new team is easier than the second. Shattenkirk did not have a single practice with the Caps before putting getting into the game on Tuesday. That first game is all about instinct. There’s little thought that goes into it because you don’t know the system yet. You’re just playing. Now Shattenkirk is trying to adapt to his new team and that’s not an easy task. Just look at the start Lars Eller had to the season.

3. Jakub Vrana will score

Vrana had a few good looks on Tuesday against the Rangers. Against a much softer New Jersey team, he will take advantage and find the back of the net.

MORE CAPITALS: Trotz wants Caps to make sure they're in playoff mode

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Preseason Game 4: Capitals vs. Hurricanes, date, time, TV channel, live stream, game thread

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Preseason Game 4: Capitals vs. Hurricanes, date, time, TV channel, live stream, game thread

What: Washington Capitals vs. Carolina Hurricanes

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, D.C.

When: 7:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Capitals vs. Hurricanes will be broadcast on CSN Mid-Atlantic. (CSN channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals vs. Hurricanes game on CSN's live stream page.

WHEN IS THE CAPITALS-HURRICANES GAME?

The Capitals take on the Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday, September 23, at 7:00 p.m. ET

WHAT CHANNEL IS THE CAPITALS-HURRICANES GAME ON?

The Capitals vs. Hurricanes game will be broadcast on CSN Mid-Atlantic at 7:00 p.m. ET with Capitals Extra recapping all the action following the game. (CSN channel Finder)

WHERE CAN I STREAM THE CAPITALS-HURRICANES GAME?

The Capitals vs. Hurricanes game is available to stream live through CSN's live stream page and is available to authenticated NBC Sports subscribers on desktops, tablets, mobile devices and connected TVs anywhere in the United States.

CAPITALS-HURRICANES OPEN THREAD

Use the comment section below to discuss the game action with other Capitals fans. 

For all the latest Caps coverage, follow Capitals Insider Tarik El-Bashir, Capitals Digital Producer JJ Regan and the CSN Capitals account on Twitter. Be sure check out our Capitals page and CSN's Facebook page.

Keep up with all the action here with Capitals GameZone.

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Barry Trotz has some tough words for the Caps' defensive prospects following Friday's loss

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USA TODAY Sports

Barry Trotz has some tough words for the Caps' defensive prospects following Friday's loss

From the outside looking in, there wasn’t much on the line in the Capitals’ preseason game on Friday against the St. Louis Blues. Washington’s 4-0 loss won't hurt them in the standings, it won't hurt their playoff or Stanley Cup hopes.

But for many of the players, especially several of the defensive prospects, Friday’s game mattered a whole lot. That's what made it so disappointing.

“We didn’t have a lot of skin in the game there,” Barry Trotz told reporters following the loss.

RELATED: TYLER GRAOVAC IS THE SILVER LINING IN AN UGLY LOSS TO BLUES

Assuming the Capitals keep seven defensemen on their roster this season, there are two open spots on the blue line that players are competing for. Friday’s game offered Lucas Johansen, Christian Djoos, Aaron Ness and Tyler Lewington, who played with veterans John Carlson and Taylor Chorney, a chance to take the lead in the roster competition.

But they, along with the rest of the team, ultimately fell flat.

“It's one of those things where you come out flat in first two periods, you can't really expect to win a hockey game,” Ness said. “Your goalie's trying to make so many saves … it’s kind of unexcusable [sic] to do that to them in the first two.”

It was a rough game and a missed opportunity.

When asked if any of the defensemen had separated themselves, Trotz slowly shook his head and said, “No, not really.”

When asked if that was disappointing, he said, “Depending which way you look at it, I guess. Some guys have separated themselves in a positive way a little bit more than others and some more of a negative way. They'll figure it out. It plays out, we're just watching. I'm not too happy with our effort tonight. … I thought [the] group that was in Montreal was pretty solid. They came to play. Tonight we just didn't.”

That’s a damning statement considering Montreal’s game featured other defensemen competing for a spot such as Madison Bowey, Connor Hobbs, Jyrki Jokipakka, Jonas Siegenthaler and Colby Williams.

Clearly Wednesday's squad left an impression on Trotz. Friday's team left a much different, more disappointing one.

MORE CAPITALS:  LET'S TALK ABOUT HOW THE DEFENSE DID AGAINST ST. LOUIS