logo canadienslogo washingtonPreview Game #53

Washington vs. Canadiens

Bell Centre – Feb. 4th, 2017 – 1.05pm

Season Records – Washington 51GP (34-11-6) 74 pts. First in Metropolitan Division and league. Canadiens 52GP (30-15-7) 67pts. First in Atlantic Division.

Season Series – Third of three meetings. @Washington Dec. 17th Canadiens-2 Washington-1. Lehkonen and Petry scored. Backstrom PPG. @Bell Centre Jan. 9th Washington-4 Canadiens-1. Backstrom, Kuznetsov, Connolly & Ovechkin. Plekanec PPG Carey Price stops 35 of 39. Holtby 1 goal on 23 Mtl. Shots.

Last Time Out – Canadiens lost 3-1 in Philadelphia Thursday. Washington defeated Boston 5-3 at home Wednesday.

Last Ten Games – Canadiens (4-5-1) Washington (7-2-1)

Home/Road – Washington on the Road (14-6-5) Canadiens at Home (18-5-3)

1 wash byronHead-to-Head

….The Capitals have earned a point in eight of their last ten overall games vs. the Canadiens (6-2-2) and 21 of their last 25 (17-4-4).

…..At the Bell Centre they have earned at least a point in 13 consecutive games (11-0-2). Their last loss in regulation time at the Bell Centre was Jan. 10th, 2009.

….Washington is 17-5-4 since the start of the 2009-10 season against the Canadiens home and away.

….The Canadiens (183) and Capitals(180) rank third and fourth in times-shorthanded this season. The difference is, the Canadiens penalty killing ranks 23rd in the league. Washington ranks 5th. The Capitals have given up 9 fewer power play goals; 38 to 29.

About the Canadiens

….This is the 26th consecutive year the Canadiens have played back to back afternoon home games on Super Bowl weekend.

….Last year the Canadiens won both ends of the Super Bowl weekend games, beating Edmonton 5-1 and Carolina 2-1 in a shootout.

….On the day before the NFL championship game the Canadiens are 13-8-3. They are 14-10-1 on Super Bowl Sunday.

1 wash danault….This is the start of the 11th of 15 sets of back-to-back games this season. The Canadiens are 5-4-1 in the opener of the two-game sets this season including wins in their last three. 11-7-2 overall.

….Only Pittsburgh (21) and Washington (20) have more home ice wins this season than the Canadiens who are in a three-way tie with Chicago and San Jose at 18.

….Over the last 12 games the Canadiens have averaged 2.67 goals per game, but they have allowed 3.08 which has produced Over that stretch they are 5-6-1 and have been unable to put together a two game winning streak.

….Untimely penalties have become an issue for the Canadiens. Only two teams have played shorthanded more often than the Canadiens 183 times this season. Canadiens speed is supposed to generate power play opportunities but the Canadiens have been on the power play 155 times. Over the 18 games since Christmas the Canadiens have played shorthanded 58 times and been on their power play 45 times.

….Canadiens penalty killing has given up a goal in each of the last four games (4GA in 15 times shorthanded). In the 18 games since the Christmas break they have given up 15 power play goals in 58 times shorthanded – 74.1%. In the 34 games prior to Christmas the Canadiens gave up 23 PPG for a kill ratio of 81.6%.

….On the other hand, since Christmas the Canadiens power play is 15 for 45 – 33.3%. That leaves the special teams ratio even since Dec. 25th.

….In his two games with the Canadiens Nikita Nesterov has averaged 20 shifts and 14:20 in icetime. He has a goal on 3 shots and 7 shot attempts. He is plus-3.

….Max Pacioretty has 2 goals, 9 assists in 25 career games vs. Washington.

….Pacioretty has 24 goals and is on pace for his 5th straight 30 goal and 60 point season (excluding the lockout year). At his current rate he would finish the season with 38 goals.

….Nathan Beaulieu has 2 goals, 17 assists and 19 points in 46 games the same totals he posted in 64 games last season.

1 wash kuznetsov attackAbout the Capitals

….The Capitals are also on a back-to-back weekend schedule. They will host the Los Angeles Kings Sunday at noon. Prior to that game they will honour Alex Ovechkin for his milestone 1000th point.

….The Capitals are 13-3-1 against the Atlantic Division this season and dating back to 2014-15 have earned at least a point in 50 of the last 58 games against them.

….The Capitals are third in the league in goalscoring (167) and lead in goals-against (111) leaving them with a league-leading goal differential of plus-55.

.Washington has recorded at least a point in 16 of their last 18 games (14-2-2) while outscoring opposition 77-38. They are 21-4-3 since December 5th. (One of their four regulation losses vs. the Canadiens Dec. 17th)

….The Capitals have scored four or more goals in 13 of their last 17 games.

….Since Jan. 1st Washington leads the NHL in wins (14) goals (76) and goal differential (39)

….The Capitals have opened scoring in 36 of their 51 games this season and have a 28-4-4 record in that circumstance, a league best .778 win percentage.   They have scored first in 13 of their last 15 games.

….Niklas Backstrom has 21 points in his last 14 games (5g, 16a). With 51 points he is ted for sixth in league scoring and second in assists with 37 assists.

….Alex Ovechkin scored his 25th goal of the season vs. Boston Wednesday, second to Sidney Crosby in the Richard Trophy race.. He has 7 goals, 10 assists his last 12 games. Ovechin ranks 66th in the league in average ice time.

….Ovechkin has 44 points in 41 career games vs. the Canadiens (23g, 21a)

….Evgeny Kuznetsov was named the NHL’s top star for the month of January. He has three striaght multi-point games and five multi-point games in his last 7. He has 41 points this season. More than half of them – 22 points have come in the last 15 games (8g, 14a). Since Jan. first Kuznetsov’s 22 points rank second only to Brad Marchand’s 23.

….T.J. Oshie has 19 points his last 15 games (9g, 10a) . He is second on the Capitals in goals with 19.

….Barry Trotz registered his 692nd coaching win Wednesday against Boston, moving him into a tie for sixth place in the all-time list with former Canadiens coach Dick Irvin.

1 wash priceGoaltending

….Carey Price has been in 39 games with a 23-11-5 record; 2.33 GAA and .922sv%.

….Price ranks 8th in wins, 11th in goals-against average and 9th in save percentage.

….Career vs. Washington Price is 6-10-4 with a 3.02 GAA and .908save% in 20 appearances.

….Over his last ten starts Price is 3-6-1 with a 3.12 GAA and .902save%. However in his last five starts he has a 2.21GAA and .936 sv% while going 2-2-1.


….In 39 games for the Capitals Braden Holtby has a record of 25-8-4 with a 1.99GAA and .929save%. His GAA and save% each rank third among NHL regular goaltenders. He is tied for the league lead in shutouts with six.

….Holtby is 10-0-0 over his last 12 games with three shutouts with a 1.93GAA. He has allowed two goals or fewer in 26 of his 39 games this season.

….Vs. the Canadiens Holtby has a record of 9-1-2 with two shutouts; 1.59GAA and .943 save%. His only loss in regulation time came Dec. 17th in Washington (2-1 vs. Carey Price). His other two losses were in shootouts after 1-1 regulation ties.

.Holtby has his career lowest goals-against average and third highest save percent vs. the Canadiens.

….Since 2012-13 Holtby leads the NHL in wins (160) and shutouts (26)

Special TeamsPower Play – Washington ranked 13th (32/154) 20.8%. Canadiens ranked 2nd (36/155) 23.2%. Penalty Killing – Washington ranked 5th (29/180) 83.9%. Canadiens ranked 22nd (38/183) 79.2%.

Down on the Farm – The St. John’s Icecaps opened a 6-game Pennsylvania road trip with a 5-2 win over the AHL leading Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins Friday night. Recently re-assigned Canadiens led the way. Mike McCarron with 1g, 2a; Daniel Carr 2g; Zach Redmond 2assists; Ryan Johnston 1 goal. The IceCaps play at Hershey Saturday and Sunday.

Canadiens Lines & Pairings

67-Max Pacioretty 24-Phillip Danault 47-Alexander Radulov

51-David Desharnais 27-Alex Galchenyuk 65-Andrew Shaw

62-Artturi Lehkonen 14-Tomas Plekanec 41-Paul Byron

42-Sven Andrighetto 17-Torrey Mitchell 32-Brian Flynn

74-Alexei Emelin 6-Shea Weber

28-Nathan Beaulieu 26-Jeff Petry

89-Nikita Nesterov 79-Andrei Markov

31-Carey Price

Injuries – RW Brendan Gallagher (IR broken hand);

Scratches – C Jacob de la Rose; D Greg Pateryn;

Washington Forward Lines & Pairings

8-Alex Ovechkin 19-Niklas Backstrom 77-T.J. Oshie

90-Marcus Johansson 92-Evgeny Kuznetsov 14-Justin Williams

10-Brett Connolly 20-Lars Eller 65-Andre Burakovsky

26-Daniel Winnick 83-Jay Beagle 43-Tom Wilson

27-Karl Alzner 74-John Carlson

9-Dmitri Orlov 2-Matt Niskanen

44-Brooks Orpik 88-Nate Schmidt

70-Braden Holtby

Injuries – None

Scratches – D Taylor Chorney; LW Jakub Vrana