While the Washington Capitals continue to surge, the Montreal Canadiens have also been sharp of late.
Looking to extend their point streak to 14 games, the Capitals try to keep the visiting Canadiens from posting a third straight victory Friday night.
Boasting an NHL-high 32 points, Washington is 11-0-2 since suffering a 6-3 regulation home defeat to Colorado on Oct. 14. The Capitals extended their longest point streak since a 12-0-2 stretch from the 2016-17 season with Wednesday’s 2-1 shootout victory at Philadelphia.
Brendan Leipsic netted his second goal of the season, T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov each scored in the shootout and Braden Holtby made 30 saves for the Capitals, whose franchise-record point streak spanned 15 games over January-February 2010.
“We just kept pushing,” coach Todd Reirden told the Capitals’ official website. “It’s finding ways to win and gather points. Believe in what we’re doing. Believe in our system and believe in the guy next to us. Who’s going to be the guy that puts us over the hump tonight?”
Kuznetsov has been that guy of late for Washington. Though he did not have a point in regulation on Wednesday, he posted three goals with six assists in the previous four contests.
Holtby, meanwhile, is amid an 8-0-1 stretch with a 2.51 goals-against average. He has also posted a 2.00 goals-against average while winning four of his last five starts versus Montreal. Backup Ilya Samsonov, 5-1-1 with a 2.45 GAA, has never faced the Canadiens.
Washington returns home, where it’s 5-1-3, and where it beat the Canadiens 2-1 last season.
Montreal is 4-2-3 on the road this season, but 6-1-1 over its last eight overall, and swept a brief two-game homestand with matching 3-2 wins over Los Angeles and Columbus. Brendan Gallagher scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season, and Tomas Tatar added his sixth in regulation, while Jonathan Drouin had the only goal of the shootout in Tuesday’s win over the Blue Jackets.
“As a whole, we’re having a good start to the season,” Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin told the club’s official website during a press conference this week. “We have to keep working on our consistency. From game to game, from period to period. And, even shift to shift.”
Drouin and Tatar have been relatively consistent on the young season for Montreal. Each shares the team lead with 15 points, while Tatar has recorded four goals and six assists in his last 11 contests.
Veteran Montreal netminder Carey Price, who made 33 saves against the Blue Jackets, has not won on the road since a 4-1 victory at Arizona on Oct. 30. He has also posted a 4.44 GAA amid a current 1-5-1 stretch versus Washington.
Canadiens backup Keith Kinkaid is 1-1-1 with a 4.35 GAA this season.
Washington star Alex Ovechkin has not scored any of his team-leading 13 goals over the last three games. However, he has recorded eight in his last six against the Canadiens.
–Field Level Media