logo canadienslogo washingtonPreview Game #78

Washington vs. Canadiens

Bell Centre – April 2, 2015 – 7:35pm

 

Ahead of the Game

.Tom Gilbert returns to the Canadiens lineup after missing four games with a broken jaw. He will wear a plastic chin guard to protect the injury. After playing nine games in a row Greg Pateryn will sit. ….Up front Devante Smith-Pelly replaces Brian Flynn and will be on the fourth line with Torrey Mitchell and Brandon Prust. The third line will be Lars Eller between de la Rose and Weise.

.This will be linesman Jean Morin’s final NHL game. The Sorel native retires after 1,425 regular season games and 211 in the playoffs over 24 years.

.The Canadiens have won both games against Washington this season, each game went to overtime. They have not swept a season series against them since 1990-91.

.The 1-0 Canadiens win on January 31st was their first at home vs. the Capitals in eight games. In the eight games at the Bell Centre Washington has outscored the Canadiens 25-6 including 10-2 the last three appearances. Four of the seven Washington wins have been via shutout.

.The Canadiens have not beaten Washington in regulation time at home since a 5-4 win Jan. 10, 2009. Sergei Kostitsyn scored the game winner with 22 seconds remaining.

.Prior to his shutout win Jan. 31st Carey Price had not started a game against Washington in over two years. Dustin Tokarski was in goal for the game in October and Peter Budaj made all three stars last season.

.Monday night’s 5-3 loss to Tampa was the first time in eleven home starts that he allowed more than two goals.

.In March Price was 5-5-2 with a 2.08 GAA and .949save% with three shutouts.

.Price has a 2-7-0 record with a 2.95GAA in his last nine games against Washington. He shut the Capitals out in this season’s only game against them Jan. 31st. (His career record against them is 5-9-3 with a 3.04GAA and .902save%)P

.Max Pacioretty has been held to two goals and five points in 19 career games against Washington.

..Over his last nine home games Pacioretty has seven goals five assists.

ABOUT THE CAPITALS

.Washington is 11-2-3 vs. the Canadiens since the start of the 2010-2011 season.

.Washington has won two straight games, three of their last four and six of their last eight.

.The Capitals have won four of their last five on the road.

.The Capitals have a chance to move up from a wild card berth. They are a point behind the Islanders and Pittsburgh in the Metropolitan Division with five games remaining. All five of those games are against teams that have already clinched a playoff berth.

.Braden Holtby has stopped 54 of 56 Montreal shots this season and is 0-0-2. In his career he is 5-0-2 with a 0.97GAA vs. the Canadiens at the Bell Centre. His career record is 6-4-0 with a 2.09 GAA in ten appearances against the Habs.

.Holtby is 6-1-0 with a 2.18GAA in his last eight NHL starts

..Head coach Barry Trotz has broken up the combination of Niklas Backstrom and Alex Ovechkin. Ovechkin now is on a line centred by Evgeny Kuznetsov. In two games together Ovechkin has three goals and one assist.

.Trotz has 599 career wins as an NHL head coach. He will be the 13th coach to reach the plateau.

.Ovechkin has gone without a point in the two games against the Canadiens this season. In 35 regular season games he has 20 goals and 16 assists. At the Bell Centre in 17 career games he has 8 goals and ten assists.

..Ovechkin has reached 50 goals for the sixth time. Six others have made it to the plateau at least six times; Mike Bossy (9x); Wayne Gretzky (9)Marcel Dionne (6); Guy Lafleur (6) and Mario Lemieux (6).

.Since entering the league in 2005-2006 Ovechkin has scored the most goals (472). His closest pursuer over that span is Jarome Iginla with 336.

.This year will be Ovechkin‘s fifth Rocket Richard Trophy. Steven Stamkos and Rick Nash are second, ten goals behind him.

.Ovechkin leads the league with 22 power play goals. He also leads the league with 11 game winning goals.

.The Capitals have scored 55 power play goals. Their power play is league leader at 24.4%.

.Nicklas Backstrom has 18 points (6g, 12a) in 23 career games against the Canadiens.

Washington Line Combinations and Pairings

8-Alex Ovechkin 92-Evgeny Kuznetsov 42-Joel Ward

90-Marcus Johansson 19-Nicklas Backstrom 20-Troy Brouwer

21-Brooks Laich 16-Eric Fehr 25-Jason Chimera

22-Curtis Glencross 46-Michael Latta 43-Tom Wilson

44-Brooks Orpik 74-John Carlson

27-Karl Alzner 2-Matt Niskanen

6-Tim Gleason 52-Mike Green

70-Braden Holtby

The Hard Stats

Season Records – Washington 77GP (42-25-10) 94pts. Canadiens 77GP (47-22-8) 102pts.

Last Ten Games – Washington (6-4-0) Canadiens (5-4-1).

Home/Road – Washington on the Road (20-13-5) Canadiens at home (25-9-5)

Season Series – Third of three games. @Washington Oct. 9 Canadiens-2 Washington-1 (shootout). Plekanec tied the game with 9:29 left. Gallagher scored in 5th round of shootout. @ Bell Centre Jan. 31 – Canadiens-1 Washington-0 (overtime). Pacioretty scored at 3:08 of overtime. Price -36saves.

Special Teams – Power Play – Washington ranked first 55/225 24.4% Canadiens ranked 23rd 36/219 16.4%. Penalty Killing – Washington ranked 12th 45/250 82.0% Canadiens ranked 8th 38/238 84.0%

Goaltending – Washington – Braden Holtby – 68GP (38-19-9) 2.21GAA .923save%. Canadiens – Carey Price – 62GP (41-16 -5) 1.92GAA .936save%.

From the Clinic Washington – RW Jay Beagle (upper body); D John Erskin (IR-neck surgery); D Dmitri Orlov (IR-broken wrist); Canadiens – none reported.

Team Comparison (League Ranking in Brackets)

Washington

Montreal

2.90 (6th)

Goals Per Game

2.56 (23rd)

2.42 (5th)

Goals Against Per Game

2.22 (1st)

29.65 (18th)

Shots on Goal Per Game

28.40 (25th)

28.78 (10th)

Shots Against Per Game

30.64 (24th))

24.4% (1st)

Power Play %

16.4% (23rd)

82.0% (12th)

Penalty Kill %

84.0% (8th)