Game Day: Capitals @ Canadiens
The Washington Capitals are in Montreal on Saturday for an early match-up against the struggling Montreal Canadiens. These two teams, while both out of a playoff position, are now in completely different situations. The Capitals, just two points out of a playoff spot, will be looking to avoid the unthinkable; missing the playoffs with a roster largely similar to the one they iced a year ago, when they finished first in the East. The Canadiens on the other hand, tied for last in the conference, are probably just waiting for this awful year to end.
The bad news for the Washington Capitals is that they haven't been good on the road. Not good at all. They have dropped four straight games away from home, and have only won eight games on the road all season. That being said, there is some good news for the Capitals. Sure, they are playing on the road, but they're also playing the Bell Centre, where the Capitals have won four straight. If the Capitals are to pull of a road victory, not only will they tie the Maple Leafs for eighth in the East – at least temporarily – but will also find themselves just one point out of first in their division, a position currently held by the Florida Panthers.
While the Capitals have been awful on the road, the Canadiens just haven't been good overall, dropping two consecutive games since the All Star Game. If the Habs are to turn that around, it will take a lot of effort from their special teams units. The Canadiens' power play has just one goal in their last six games in the Bell Centre. While the Capitals' penalty kill is not among the top in the league, the Canadiens have failed to convert against worse.
With another game to play tomorrow against the Winnipeg Jets, the Canadiens will give Peter Budaj the call in Saturday's game against the Capitals. Budaj, while just putting up two victories in his seven starts this season, has been relatively impressive for a backup goaltender, especially on this years edition of the Habs. Tomas Vokoun, a former draft pick of the Habs, will get the start between the pipes for the Capitals.
The game should be a good one given the history of these teams, and you can catch it on CBC and RDS at 2:00 PM Eastern.