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Game #52 | Montreal Vs Washington | 4 February 2012 2:00pm EST


beaubie

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Season Series:

Washington won the lone meeting this season, 3-0, in Montreal on Jan. 18. The Capitals have back-to-back shutouts against the Canadiens dating back to last season, and are 4-0-2 in the past six regular-season meetings.

Big Story:

Alex Ovechkin returns from a three-game suspension as the Capitals take on the Canadiens in a Hockey Night in Canada matchup.

Team Scope:

Capitals:

Washington went 0-for-2 on a trip to Florida, and the Capitals have lost five of seven since reeling off three straight wins and seven of nine to close the gap on the Panthers in the Southeast. Instead of wresting control of the division from Florida, the Capitals have stalled out again.

The team's issues away from Verizon Center continue to be their undoing. Washington is 18-6-1 at home, but its 8-14-3 mark on the road has threatened to sabotage the season. Having Ovechkin back will help Saturday, but the Capitals need to start winning in the white jerseys if they want to continue their run of four straight division titles.

Canadiens:

Thursday night was an all-too familiar situation for Montreal this season. The Canadiens led the New Jersey Devils going into the third period, but ended up with a 5-3 defeat. It was the sixth time in 21 games this season where the Canadiens went into the third period with a lead and did not end up with two points.

"It's very frustrating because there's been so much talk," Lars Eller said. "Too much talk on what's not being done right, and this or that, blah, blah, blah. The focus has been on the wrong things. There should be less talk and more acting out there. That's the short story."

The Habs recalled Aaron Palushaj from AHL Hamilton on Friday. Plushaj was leading the Bulldogs with 13 goals and 29 points at the time of his recall. He played in 15 games with the Canadiens earlier this season without registering a point.

Who's Hot:

Mathieu Perreault scored in Washington's 3-0 win at Montreal, and he now has 5 goals and 7 points in the past six games. … Montreal's Erik Cole has 9 points in his past seven games.

Injury Report:

Washington will be without top center Nicklas Backstrom (concussion) and top defenseman Mike Green (sports hernia surgery). Defenseman Tom Poti (groin) has been out all season and is not expected to return. … Montreal's top defenseman, Andrei Markov (knee), has not played this season, but he has resumed skating. The Canadiens are also without captain Brian Gionta (torn biceps), and forwards Travis Moen (upper body), Petteri Nokelainen (upper body) and Michael Blunden (lower body).

Stat Pack:

Second-year Capitals defenseman John Carlson has been on the ice for 2.93 goals per 60 minutes played at even strength this season, which is the highest on the team and a full goal more than his rookie campaign. … It has been 364 days since the Canadiens' Scott Gomez last scored a goal -- he tallied on Feb. 5, 2011 against the New York Rangers.

The Canadiens’ special teams are polar opposites of one another. On the one hand, Montreal features the league’s second-best penalty killing outfit with a kill rate of 89.3% on the season. The Habs have allowed a mere 21 power play goals in 51 games this season.

On the other hand, the Habs have the league’s least potent power play with a 12.3% success rate on the season. Montreal has had multiple power play goals in the same game just twice in its 51 contests this season, and the Habs haven’t had more than one extra-man tally in a game since they went 2-for-6 on the power play in a 4-0 home ice win over the Rangers on Nov. 19. Since then, the Habs have gone 12-for-117 (10.3%) on the power play.

Puck Drop:

Ovechkin is back after the longest suspension of his career (three games) and his much-publicized decision to skip the All-Star game because of the suspension. He was suspended twice during the 2009-10 season, but both were for two games.

Obviously, the Capitals need Ovechkin to be more like the two-time MVP and less like the more pedestrian version from last season and the beginning of this campaign. He did have his first 3-point game of the season against Pittsburgh in the contest where his suspendable offense occurred, and Ovechkin does have 8 goals in his past 12 games.

The break did offer Ovechkin a rare chance to rest and recharge for the stretch run.

"It's happened not too often to me," he told Chuck Gormley of CSNWashington.com. "I'm not used to watching the games from upstairs and staying (on the ice) after the morning skates. I'm pretty excited. I miss hockey a lot. It's a situation where you miss the game and you're tired of watching."

:)

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Won't be around to follow this game, but I hope the Habs give it 100%, win or lose.

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Wow, beaubie, fantastic job. Very well done.

+100 B)

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What's on the menu today?

  • Shut out 1-0
  • Shut out 4-0
  • 2-1 regulation loss
  • 3-2 regulation loss
  • 3-2 shootout loss in which we fail to score
  • 4-2 regulation loss (empty-netter)

I'm also having trouble envisioning exactly how the third-period meltdown will occur. Will it be a marginal penalty that gets the ball rolling? A brutal unforced D-zone coverage lapse? A shortie while we're on the power play? Or just team-wide systems failure?

SO MANY OPTIONS.

:P

Don't hate me, folks. I'm just trying to have fun with a depressing situation.

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Super GDT Beaubie

What's on the menu today?

  • Shut out 1-0
  • Shut out 4-0
  • 2-1 regulation loss
  • 3-2 regulation loss
  • 3-2 shootout loss in which we fail to score
  • 4-2 regulation loss (empty-netter)

I'm also having trouble envisioning exactly how the third-period meltdown will occur. Will it be a marginal penalty that gets the ball rolling? A brutal unforced D-zone coverage lapse? A shortie while we're on the power play? Or just team-wide systems failure?

SO MANY OPTIONS.

:P

Don't hate me, folks. I'm just trying to have fun with a depressing situation.

I predict: 3-2 habs in the third. Powerplay. Pass to Weber who misses while Ovechkin takes it, goes right up the middle and pots one past Peter Budaj that will unfortunately be on the highlight reel for 3+ years

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Great job beaubie! :)

What's on the menu today?

  • Shut out 1-0
  • Shut out 4-0
  • 2-1 regulation loss
  • 3-2 regulation loss
  • 3-2 shootout loss in which we fail to score
  • 4-2 regulation loss (empty-netter)

I'm also having trouble envisioning exactly how the third-period meltdown will occur. Will it be a marginal penalty that gets the ball rolling? A brutal unforced D-zone coverage lapse? A shortie while we're on the power play? Or just team-wide systems failure?

SO MANY OPTIONS.

:P

Don't hate me, folks. I'm just trying to have fun with a depressing situation.

hmm... I'd remove your first 3 scenarios, I think we have to have at least 2 goals for it look like the result of a 3rd period meltdown :P

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hmm... I'd remove your first 3 scenarios, I think we have to have at least 2 goals for it look like the result of a 3rd period meltdown :P

Point taken on the first one, but the other two? How about a scoreless game heading into the third period, during which we give up two or more goals in the first half of the period, and maybe scoring one goal with 30 seconds left when it's far, far too late? olé olé olé!

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I can never cheer for a ,loss during a game, after it, if we do lose, I'll be OK with it and rationalize that it's fine for the team but not while the game is played.

Plan ahead for a career, retirement, security of family, long term health but for entertainment? the future is NOW :P

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Backup Peter Budaj will get the start in goal Saturday, while Carey Price is expected to play Sunday against the Jets.

GO BUDAJ!

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I can never cheer for a ,loss during a game, after it, if we do lose, I'll be OK with it and rationalize that it's fine for the team but not while the game is played.

Plan ahead for a career, retirement, security of family, long term health but for entertainment? the future is NOW :P

Yep so do I. I cheer for them to win in the moment but if we lose it's one loss closer to a franchise player.

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Alex Ovechkin returns from suspension as the Capitals battle the Canadiens at the Bell Centre this afternoon.

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The Canadiens are in desperate need of something to send their fans home to dinner in a happier frame of mind.

Florida’s Friday night win put them three points up in the Southeast Division race, so the Caps will be hungry.

GO_HABS_GO.gif

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Excellent GDT Beaubie!

I can never cheer for a ,loss during a game, after it, if we do lose, I'll be OK with it and rationalize that it's fine for the team but not while the game is played.

Plan ahead for a career, retirement, security of family, long term health but for entertainment? the future is NOW :P

Yep so do I. I cheer for them to win in the moment but if we lose it's one loss closer to a franchise player.

Agree with both of you on this note. It still makes my day to see the Habs win with conviction (Eller's 4-point night and Habs v. Red wings a bit ago, anyone?), and I'll never get tired of watching the wins. Can't root to lose, but the way this season has turned out it honestly doesn't bother me when we lose, because it only means we get closer to that high first round pick.

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Score lots! :lol:

JUST ABOUT GAME TIME DUDE...

are_you_ready.gif

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