Game #46

Washington vs. Canadiens

Bell Centre – Jan. 18/2012- 7:35pm


Game Notes

…….Left Winger Rene Bourque will be facing the Capitals for the first time since, as a member of the Calgary Flames, he injured Washington center Nicklas Backstrom January 3rd with an elbow that caused a concussion and drew a five game suspension.   The Capitals would have had to wait until next season to face Bourque again, but his trade to the Canadiens last Thursday in a deal that sent Mike Cammalleri to Calgary set up this rematch.

…..The Canadiens are 4-9-1 in their last 14 games and remain the bottom of the Northeast Division, one point behind fourth-place Buffalo. They also trail Washington by eight points for the East’s eighth and final playoff spot.

…..Canadiens leading scorer Max Pacioretty has never scored against the Caps (0 goals, 3 assists.  Of his 15 goals and 17 assists on the season, 10 and 15, respectively, have come at home

…..Washington  goaltender Tomas Vokoun became the first Washington goaltender to make 10 straight starts since Olaf Kolzig’s 16-game run from Oct. 17-Nov. 22, 2003 and has been key for a Washington club that was winning despite getting outworked on offense.

….Before being shutout by the Islanders Sunday, the Capitals had won three in a row and seven straight at home.

…. The Capitals are 26th in the League for shots per game (27.9), and they haven’t recorded more than 30 in 15 consecutive games their longest such streak in more than seven years.  OnTuesday against the Islanders  they managed only  17 shots on goal and just two shots on their power play.

…..The Canadiens allow the NHL’s  fifth fewest shots per game at 28.6.

…..Washington was 12-9-1 when they fired head coach Bruce Boudreau.   They have an identical mark since Dale Hunter took over. The team is in eighth place overall in the Eastern Conference but only a point behind the Panthers for first place in the Southeast Division.

…..Alex Ovechkin leads the team with 18 goals.   He has one in his last six games.

…..The Capitals are set to play three straight and six of their next seven on the road, where they have lost five of their past six. However, they are 3-0-1 in their past four trips to Montreal and 9-2-2 versus the Habs in the past 13 encounters overall.

The Cold Hard Stats –

Season Record  -Washington  44GP (24-18-2) 50pts8th in Eastern Conference; 2nd in Southeast Division.  Canadiens  45GP (17-20-8) 42 pts. 12th in Eastern Conference; Last in Northeast Division.

Last Ten Games – Washington 7-3-0    Canadiens l 4-5-1.

Season Series This is the first of four season meetings, with the next played on Feb. 4. Last season Washington took three of four from Montreal in 2010-11, including a 2-0 win at Bell Centre March 26 at the Bell Centre.

Last Time Out – Washington was shut out by the Islanders 3-0 Tuesday at home.       The Canadiens beat the New York Rangers 4-1 at the Bell Centre Sunday night ending a three game losing streak.

Home/Road – Washington on the Road – (7-12-1)    Canadiens at Home (9-12-1)

Special Teams – Power Play – Washington ranked 7th – 19.3% (28/145)   Montreal – ranked 30th – 12.8%  (22/172).    Penalty Killing – Washington ranked 24th  81.3% (29/155)  Canadiens – ranked 2nd – 90.6%   (19/174)

Goaltending – Washington – Tomas Vokoun  35GP (19-11-0) 2.53GAA  .917save%  – 2 shutouts.      Canadiens – Carey Price  39GP (15-16-8)  2.44GAA  /913save% – 2 shutouts.

Who’s Hot Canadiens – Max Pacioretty – 3 goals 2 assists last two games.  Erik Cole – 4 goals, 6 assists last nine games.  David Desharnais 3 goals, 12 assists last 14 games.

The Missing –  Washington – D-Mike Green ( abdominal surgery/groin); FWD-Nicklas Backstrom (IR-concussion);  D-Tom Poti (LTIR-chronic groin injury)     Canadiens – RW-Brian Gionta (IR-biceps surgery); D-Andrei Markov (IR-arthroscopic surgery); RW-Ryan White (IR-sports hernia surgery); D-Brendon Nash (IR-shoulder surgery)