NHL

Sat, Apr 20, 2013 - 7:00 PM ET
Game Preview
 

Capitals-Canadiens Preview

Share This Story

   
 

Carey Price and the Montreal Canadiens are coming off a much-needed win but might seek a better performance. Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals are trying to rebound from their first bad one in quite some time.

In a key matchup of teams with tenuous division leads, Ovechkin tries to help the Capitals continue their recent dominance in Montreal on Saturday night.

While the Canadiens (27-12-5) have clinched a postseason berth, they have a two-point lead atop the Northeast Division but second-place Boston has two games in hand. Washington (24-18-2) is only two points clear of being out of playoff position while clinging to a two-point lead over Winnipeg in the Southeast, and those teams square off Monday in the nation's capital.

Ovechkin's red-hot play powered Washington to an eight-game winning streak, but that ended Thursday with a 3-1 loss at Ottawa. His minus-3 rating matched a season worst as the Capitals tied a season low with 19 shots, and the former Hart Trophy winner admitted his team seemed to lack emotion.

"We didn't make a lot of shots on them and we didn't have a very good start," said Ovechkin, who went pointless for the third time in 17 games.

Saturday's game is the only one of Washington's final four which comes on the road, and the Capitals have won five straight in Montreal by a 15-4 score. They are 8-1-1 in their last 10 visits, including the postseason.

Ovechkin scored on Price in a 3-2 victory April 9 in the teams' only meeting at Bell Centre this season. Price did make 30 saves in a 4-1 win at Washington on Jan. 24, but that's his only victory in his last six starts versus the Capitals. He's 1-5-2 with a 3.58 goals-against average in eight home starts against Washington, including playoffs, and has lost the last five.

Price had lost four in a row overall, posting a 6.05 GAA, before making 32 saves in a 3-2 home win over Tampa Bay on Thursday. He benefited from three shots hitting the post - in the first period alone - against a Lightning team which has been eliminated from the playoff chase.

"I'm really satisfied and proud of Carey Price," coach Michel Therrien said. "He bounced back. It was lucky at times, but you need some breaks to win."

The Canadiens had given up 18 goals during a three-game losing streak before Thursday.

"It was a bit of a tough week, obviously, when you get 18 goals scored on you in three games," Price said. "It's tough, but as a professional, you have to keep battling through it."

Ovechkin, meanwhile, is looking to avoid going consecutive games without scoring for the first time since March 9-12. He tops the NHL with 28 goals and 15 on the power play.

Montreal's last four opponents are 6 for 20 with the man advantage, and Washington leads the league with a 25.3 percent success rate.

Center Nicklas Backstrom keys the Capitals' power play, and it appears he will play despite leaving in the third period Thursday when he was hit on the left arm by teammate Mike Green's shot.

"He's alright, but I definitely gave him a bruise so I hope everything's OK," Green said of Backstrom, who has 13 points in 11 career games at Montreal.

Brian Gionta scored twice Thursday for Montreal, including the game-winner with 47 seconds remaining.

"It's big for our confidence," Gionta said. "When you lose a few tough games, you lose that little edge, so it's nice to get that back."

Tagged: Canadiens, Capitals, Alex Ovechkin, Carey Price

Related Stories

Member Comments

Please note by clicking on "Post comment" you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Use and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be Polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator.

powered by



Play Hockey Simulation Game on WhatIfSports

NHL Videos

Highlights: Sharks/Kings - Game 3 Posted: Apr 23, 2014
Watch highlights of the Sharks' win over the Kings in Game 3.

Highlights: Lightning/Canadiens Game 4 Posted: Apr 23, 2014
Watch highlights of Montreal's 4-3 win over Tampa Bay.

Highlights: Bruins/Red Wings Game 3 Posted: Apr 23, 2014
Watch highlights of Boston's 3-0 win over Detroit.

Fox Sports Store

    itemName itemURL imageSrc price itemDescription
    Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Pittsburgh_Penguins/browse/featuredproduct/175178/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_175000/FF_175178_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Sidney Crosby Pittsburgh Penguins Premier Hockey Jersey - Black
    Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Dallas_Stars/browse/featuredproduct/243363/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_243000/FF_243363_xl.jpg&w=100 124.95 Reebok Dallas Stars White Premier Hockey Jersey
    Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Tampa_Bay_Lightning/browse/featuredproduct/301017/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_301000/ff_301017_xl.jpg&w=100 19.95 Reebok Tampa Bay Lightning Primary Logo T-Shirt - Royal Blue
    Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Anaheim_Ducks/browse/featuredproduct/398322/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_398000/FF_398322_xl.jpg&w=100 43.99 Majestic Anaheim Ducks Black Official Logo Full Zip Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Detroit_Red_Wings/browse/featuredproduct/403205/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_403000/FF_403205_xl.jpg&w=100 24.95 Detroit Red Wings Youth Black Southpaw Backpack
    Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Chicago_Blackhawks/browse/featuredproduct/408123/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_408000/FF_408123_xl.jpg&w=100 159.95 Reebok Chicago Blackhawks #88 Patrick Kane Red Premier Hockey Jersey
    Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_Jersey_Devils/browse/featuredproduct/456774/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_456000/ff_456774_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New Jersey Devils Red Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt
    Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_Vancouver_Canucks/browse/featuredproduct/665779/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_665000/ff_665779_xl.jpg&w=100 11.95 Vancouver Canucks 2011 NHL Western Conference Champions Hockey Stick
    Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt http://shop.foxsports.com/FOX_New_York_Islanders/browse/featuredproduct/752594/source/foxsports_prsp_ca http://images.footballfanatics.com/FFImage/thumb.aspx?i=/productImages/_752000/ff_752594_xl.jpg&w=100 47.99 Majestic New York Islanders Royal Blue Felt Tek Patch Pullover Hoodie Sweatshirt