A pair of teams from the Eastern Conference playoff picture take the ice in the nation’s capital. The Montreal Canadiens take the trip on the road to face the Washington Capitals Friday night. Montreal comes in off a 3-2 shootout win over Columbus in their last game, which came at home Tuesday night. Washington edged Philadelphia 2-1 in a shootout on the road Wednesday night in their previous contest. The Capitals have won six of the last eight meetings between the teams, including a 2-1 home win in the most recent matchup on April 4, 2019.
Montreal Canadiens Look to Gain Ground in Atlantic DivisionMontreal won their second straight game as they forced overtime late and then won in a shootout at home over Columbus. The Canadiens entered Thursday tied with Florida for second in the Atlantic Division, three points behind Boston for the division lead. Montreal is 6th in the league in scoring as they put up 3.44 goals a night so far this year. The Canadiens are 19th in the league by giving up 3.06 goals per contest this season. Montreal is 14th in the league on the power play by converting 20.7 percent of their chances with the man advantage this season. The Canadiens are only 28th in the league in penalty killing as they successfully get through only 73.7 percent of their shorthanded situations on the year.
In their last game, Montreal did just enough to force the game to the extra session and then prevailed in a shootout. The Canadiens were outshot 15-11 in the opening period and trailed 1-0 after the opening stanza. In the second period, Montreal owned a 14-11 edge in shots but the period was scoreless, leaving the game 1-0 after two periods of play. During the final period, the Canadiens owned a 7-6 edge in shots and outscored Columbus 2-1 to force overtime. Brendan Gallagher scored his eighth of the year at 3:27 off assists from Victor Mete and Shea Weber. After giving up the go-ahead goal with less than two minutes to play, Tomas Tatar sent the game to overtime with his sixth of the year at 19:19 off assists from Nick Suzuki and Phillip Danault. In the extra session, Montreal was outshot 3-0 but neither team lit the lamp to force a shootout. During the shootout, Jonathan Drouin scored the lone goal to give Montreal the victory. Carey Price made 33 saves in the win as the Canadiens were outshot 35-32 in the game.
Washington Capitals Seek to Extend Point Streak to 14Washington managed to earn the win in a shootout over the Flyers on the road to run their mark to 11-0-2 in their last 13 games. The Capitals entered Thursday holding a five-point lead over the Islanders in the Metropolitan Division standings. Washington is first in the league in scoring with 3.85 goals per game this season. The Capitals are 15th in the league in goals against as they allow 2.95 goals per game on the year. Washington is 9th in the league with the man advantage as they cash in 22.9 percent of their power play chances this season. The Capitals are 8th in penalty killing as they successfully work through 84.9 percent of their shorthanded situations this season.
The Capitals have been on a torrid run of late and they have needed it with the Islanders going 12-0-1 in their last 13 games. In the opening period, Washington owned a 16-5 edge in shots and skated off with a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. Brendan Leipsic opened the scoring with his second of the year at 6:13 off assists from John Carlson and Nic Dowd. The second period saw the Capitals outshot 12-6 with neither team lighting the lamp, leaving it a 1-0 game after 40 minutes. Washington held an 11-10 edge in shots in the third period but was outscored 1-0 to send the game to overtime tied at one. The extra session saw the Capitals outshot 4-3 but neither team scored to send the game to a shootout. In the shootout, it was Evgeny Kuznetsov bagging the winner to give the Capitals the victory. Braden Holtby made 30 saves in the win for the Capitals, who held a 36-31 edge in shots on goal in the game.
The top trends for this contest according to Oddsshark.com:
- Canadiens are 2-6 in their last eight vs. Capitals
- Canadiens are 1-5 in their last six vs. Metropolitan Division teams
- Capitals are 6-0 in their last six vs. Eastern Conference teams
- Capitals are 7-0-1 in their last eight overall