Washington Capitals (9-7-3 21pts) v. Montreal Canadiens (11-6-3 25pts)
Time: 730p EST
Station: NBC Sports Washington
The Washington Capitals head into Montreal to close off their 4 game road trip, which also is the second straight 4+ game road trip that the Capitals will be concluding against the Canadiens. Coming off an overtime victory over the Colorado Avalanche, the Capitals are looking to win their second game in a row, while Montreal is coming off of a win against the Vancouver Canucks and look to continue their hot start to this season.
*Pheonix Copley will be starting in goal tonight, with Braden Holtby as the backup. Ilya Samsonov was reassigned to Hershey this morning.
Keys to the Game:
1. Play a full 60 minutes
The Capitals need to play a full 60 minutes, but most importantly they need to play a much more aggressive third period. There have been too many games where the Capitals have turtled into their own zone and played “not to lose” which has resulted in them being horribly outshot and blowing leads. If the Capitals can play a full 60 minutes, they have better opportunity to close out this road trip with a win.
2. Keep your feet moving
The Capitals will still be without both Evgeny Kuznetsov and TJ Oshie most likely, while it looks like Braden Holtby could be starting in goal, but with the missing key pieces of Kuznetsov and Oshie, it is going to put more onus on these depth guys to step up. The Capitals as a whole will need to keep their feet moving and use their speed to make it difficult for the Canadiens.
* We expect the same lineup that was used against the Canucks.
Keys to the Game:
1. Utilize their speed
Last game against the Capitals, the Canadiens were able to utilize their speed against the Capitals and create a moment that allowed them to overcome the Capitals and win the game 6-4 )including the NHL record of 2 goals in 2 seconds). The Canadiens will need to use their speed to cause the Capitals to make mistakes, especially in their own zone.