Canadiens at Washington
Verizon Center – Jan. 23/2013 – 7:05pm
…..On Tuesday the Capitals lost a home opener for the first time since 2000 losing to Winnipeg 4-2. The 0-2 start is the Capitals’ worst since they dropped their first six games to begin 1993-94.
….Nine members of the Capitals played hockey during the lockout; Ovechkin and Backstrom at Moscow, Marcus Johansson in Sweden, Jason Chimera and Michal Neuvirth in the Czech Republic, Matthieu Perreault in Finland, Wojtek Wolski in Poland, Brooks Laich in Switzerland and Joey Crabb with the Alaska Aces in the ECHL.
….. Seven members of the Habs played during the lockout, all in Europe.
….Including a four game sweep of last season’s series the Capitals have beaten the Canadiens six straight times. . Washington is 9-0-2 against the Canadiens since its last regulation loss on Nov. 20, 2009.
….Last season’s four game sweep was the first over the Canadiens since the 1996-97 season, also four games. The Capitals outscored the Canadiens 12-3.
….Including Thursday’s game against the Canadiens, the Capitals are facing three games over a four night stretch.
…..Carey Price has allowed three goals in two games, all of them on power plays. His GAA is 1.51 with a .944 save%. In his last eight appearances against the Capitals including two in the playoffs, Price is 1-6-0 with a 2.93 GAA.
…..Capitals starting goaltender Michal Neuvirth spent the lockout with Sparta Prague of the Czech Extraliga where he played in 24 games. He is 4-0-1 with a 1.82 goals-against average and .939 save percentage against the Canadiens all time. Thursday will mark Neuvirth’s first game in nearly a month. His last appearance came Dec. 30 with Sparta
……Braden Holtby allowed 10 goals on 73 shots in the first two games of the year. Five of those goals have come on opponent power plays. His GAA is 5.04; save percentage .863.
……After seven years at centre, Alexander Ovechkin has been shifted to right wing by new Washington head coach Adam Oates.
……Five of the goals scored against the Capitals this season have been scored by opponents power plays, a penalty killing rate of 58.3%. They are 2 for 8 on their own power play (25%).
……All three goals scored against the Canadiens came on power plays, a penalty killing rate of 76.9%. The power play has produced three goals, a success rate of 27.3%.
……Against the Capitals the Canadiens failed to score on 16 power-play opportunities last season and dating back to the 2010-2011 season, the last 33 opportunities.
….. Andrei Markov scored twice Tuesday against Florida his first goals in the 17 games he has played since Nov. 9, 2010.
The Pre-Game Stats
Season Series – First meeting of three meetings. The Canadiens will host Washington April 9th and 20th.
Last Season: Capitals swept series. Jan. 18 @ Bell Centre Washington-3 Canadiens-0. Washington scores two goals on first four shots of the game. Michal Neuvirth with the shutout. Shots 21-16 for Washington. Mathieu Perreault, Marcus Johansson and Alexander Ovechkin with the goals. Feb.4 @Bell Centre – Washington-3 Canadiens-0. Tomas Vokoun stopped 30 shots for the shutout. Dennis Wideman, Troy Brouwer, Marcus Hendricks and Alexander Semin on a penalty shot. Peter Budaj stopped 20 of 23 shots. The Canadiens third straight loss after the All-star break.. Feb.24 @ Verizon Center – Washington-4 Canadiens-1. Rene Bourque scored the Canadiens only goal in the third period ending the Capitals shutout string against the Canadiens at 260 minutes and 14 seconds – the equivalent of four and one-third games.. The Capitals got goals from Mathieu Perreault, Jason Chimera and Alexander Ovechkin. The Bourque goal came while the Canadiens were killing off a penalty. Mar. 31 @ Verizon Centre Capitals-3 Canadiens-2 (shootout) Capitals blow a 2-0 lead before winning on goals by Matt Hendricks and Alexander Semin in the shootout. Michal Neuvirth in goal for Washington against Peter Budaj. Erik Cole and Tomas Plekanec scored for the Canadiens. Subban had six shots on goal. Canadiens 50th loss of the season.
Who’s Hot: Washington – Mike Ribeiro has three assists in his first two games with the Capitals, leading the team in points. Alex Ovechkin has one assist but eight shots on goal. Canadiens – Carey Price has allowed three goals, all on opposition power plays, on 54 shots for a save percentage of .944. Raphael Diaz has three assists to lead the team in points. Andrei Markov has two goals.
Injuries – Canadiens -C-Petteri Nokelainen (back) Washington – D-Jack Hillen (upper body); C-Brooks Laich (groin)
Goaltending – Montreal – Carey Price Washington Michal Neuvirth
The Capitals Lines
17-Wojtek Wolski- 19-Niklas Backstrom- 8-Alex Ovechkin
26-Matt Hendricks- 63-Mike Ribeiro- 20-Troy Brouwer
25-Jason Chimera- 83-JayBeagle- 42-Joel Ward
90-Markus Johansson- 85-Mathieu Perreault- 46-Joey Crabb
27-Karl Alzner- 74-John Carlson
3-Tom Poti- 52-Mike Green
44-Roman Hamrlik- 36-Tomas Kundratek
30- Michal Neuvirth (Backup – 70-Braydon Holtby_