The Canadiens (1-1-0) hit the road for the first time this season to take on the Capitals (0-2-0) in Washington Thursday night. The game starts at 7:00 and airs on RDS and TSN-HABS.
The Habs and Caps will square off three times, with the next two matches taking place at the Bell Centre. Montreal scored just 3 goals in 4 games last season against Washington, taking just one point from a shootout loss.
What to Watch:
Tuesday night’s game against the Panthers gave Habs fans plenty to cheer about. Andrei Markov scored once and then twice on the power play, doubling his goal totals from the last two seasons combined. Raphael Diaz picked up two more assists Tuesday and now leads the team with three points.
And if that wasn’t enough, Alex Galchenyuk scored his first NHL goal as well, with Brandon Prust and Brendan Gallagher both getting assists, also their first points in Habs uniforms.
One-time Canadiens leading scorer, Mike Ribiero, now leads the Caps in scoring two games into the shortened season. Ribiero has 2 goals and 4 assists in the 4 games he’s played against the Habs since moving on to Dallas.
Alex Ovechkin is always a key player to watch when he’s on the ice, but Ovi is coming off a disappointing last season and has just one assist so far this season. The Capitals’ success has been closely linked to Ovechkin’s, last season Alexander the Great faltered and the Caps failed to capture the Southeast Division for the first time since 2006-2007.
What’s at Stake:
After earning their first win of the season Tuesday the Canadiens will try to keep things rolling against the struggling Caps. Washington will be hungry for a win Thursday. With the 48 game season every game is worth almost double, which means the Caps are falling behind quickly.
Lars Eller was a healthy scratch last game against the Panthers to make room at center for Alex Galchenyuk and won’t get a chance to play Thursday either. The biggest void in the Canadiens lineup is still PK Subban. Despite Habs fans pleas for a deal with the star defenseman to be reached, Marc Bergevin still hasn’t been able to come to terms with PK.
For Washington, Brooks Laich (groin) and Jack Hillen (upper body) will miss Tuesday’s game.
Andrei Markov’s goal on Tuesday was his first since November 10, 2010. The top trio of Erik Cole, David Desharnais and Max Pacioretty have yet to break the ice this season, none of them have lit the lamp yet this year although Pacioretty picked up a pair of assists in Tuesday’s victory. The Canadiens are 3 for 11 on the power play through 2 games an area the team needed to improve on from last season.
Be sure to tune into the Montreal Hockey Talk Pregame Show an hour before the puck drop and the Post Game Show 5 minutes after the final siren.