Metropolitan Division-leading Washington hosts Montreal

Montreal Canadiens (43-29-8, fourth in the Atlantic Division) vs. Washington Capitals (47-25-8, first in the Metropolitan Division)

Washington; Thursday, 7 p.m. EDT

BOTTOM LINE: The Montreal Canadiens visit Capital One Arena to take on the top team in the Metropolitan Division, the Washington Capitals.

The Capitals are 32-13-5 against Eastern Conference opponents. Washington ranks fourth in the NHL averaging 5.9 assists per game, led by John Carlson with 0.7.

The Canadiens are 19-17-4 on the road. Montreal has given up 46 power-play goals, killing 80.8 percent of opponent chances. In their last meeting on Nov. 19, Washington won 5-4. Alex Ovechkin recorded a team-high 2 points for the Capitals.

TOP PERFORMERS: Ovechkin leads the Capitals with 51 goals and has recorded 89 points. Brett Connolly has five goals and four assists over the last 10 games for Washington.

LAST 10 GAMES: Canadiens: 6-3-1, averaging 3.1 goals, 5.6 assists, 2.5 penalties and 5.9 penalty minutes while giving up two goals per game with a .934 save percentage.

Capitals: 6-3-1, averaging 3.6 goals, 6.3 assists, 3.1 penalties and 7.9 penalty minutes while giving up 2.5 goals per game with a .912 save percentage.

Capitals Injuries: Michal Kempny: out indefinitely (lower body), Brett Connolly: day to day (illness).

Canadiens Injuries: Paul Byron: day to day (upper body).