Montreal is coming off a high-scoring 7-2 loss against the Panthers on Thursday, their fourth defeat in a row. The Canadiens committed 11 penalties in the game, conceding three power play goals.
Arber Xhekaj and Josh Anderson both scored once for the Canadiens. Xhekaj added an assist to lead the team in scoring. Sam Montembeault only had 34 saves on 41 shots against (.829%) in the loss.Washington fell 4-3 (OT) to the Senators on Thursday.
Evgeny Kuznetsov, Dylan Strome, and Alex Ovechkin each scored once for the Capitals. Nick Jensen had two assists to lead the team in scoring. Darcy Kuemper had 41 saves in the loss.
HEAD TO HEAD
The Capitals won the first meeting between the teams this season, a 3-1 victory in October, their fourth straight win against Montreal. T.J. Oshie led Washington with two points (1G 1A). Nick Suzuki scored Montreal’s only goal. Kuemper got the win, saving 21 of 22 shots (.954%).
Montreal is averaging 2.61 goals per game for the season, 28th in the NHL, and they are taking on a Capitals team that is allowing 2.74 goals a game (10th). Meanwhile, Washington has found the net 3.11 times a game on average, 17th in the league, and the Canadiens are allowing opponents to score 3.58 goals per game (26th).
Montreal averages fewer shots per game (28.2) than most teams in the league, ranking 30th. Washington’s average of 31.3 attempts ranks 18th.
Don’t be surprised to see multiple power play opportunities for the Capitals, as the Canadiens are averaging 4.58 penalties per game, fifth-most in the NHL. The visitors’ 12.75 penalty minutes a game ranks first-highest.
The home team has been penalized 3.47 times a game (3rd-fewest in the league) for an average of 8.16 minutes (8th-fewest). The Canadiens’ 14.91% power play percentage is the lowest in the league, while the Capitals rank 21st with a conversion rate of 20.97%.
When it comes to defending power plays, Washington has the league’s seventh-ranked PK% at 81.82%, while Montreal is 23rd at 75.00%.
With 31 points this season, Suzuki is the top skater for the Canadiens. He has 15 goals and 16 assists in 36 games. In the net, Montembeault (6-3-2) is Montreal’s top goaltender by goals against average. He has a 2.89 GAA and a .912% save percentage. Jake Allen (9-14-1) leads the Canadiens in games played in goal.
He has a GAA of 3.29 and a save percentage of .900%.Ovechkin leads the Capitals in scoring with 42 points. He has 23 goals (7th) and 19 assists in 38 games. Kuemper (10-9-2) has the best goals against average for Washington at 2.40. He has a save percentage of .920%.
HOME AND AWAY
Montreal has lost four straight away from home this season. Washington is 11-5-2 at home this season.
SportsTips’ NHL Pick:
Washington Capitals -1.5 (-105)
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