Metropolitan Division-leading Washington hosts Montreal
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).