Montreal Canadiens vs. Washington Capitals
Tip-off: Thursday, January 24, 2013 – 7:00 PM ET
Verizon Center, Washington, District of Columbia
The Washington Capitals first two games have given YouWager experts the impression that they are a team that’s currently a work in progress and that they are trying to learn a new system under a new coach.
With the NHL season having been cut short, the Capitals need to become pretty fast learners as they avoid their first season-opening three-game losing streak in nearly two decades this evening against the Montreal Canadiens.
After allowing three unanswered third-period goals in a 6-3 defeat versus the Tampa Bay Lightning in Saturday’s season opener, Washington lost their home opener for the first time since 2000, losing 4-2 versus the Winnipeg Jets earlier this week.
The start is the Washington’s’ worst since they dropped their first six games to begin 1993-94. Any losing streak is made even bigger in the lockout-shortened season, and a quick training camp and lack of preseason games didn’t give first-time NHL coach Adam Oates much time to implement his systems.
The Capitals have have allowed 10 goals and five of these have come while short-handed. This hockey team is 2 for 8 on the power play, and two-time league MVP Alex Ovechkin has no goals.
Beating the Canadiens is something Washington has been consistent with as of late, winning the last six meetings. The Capitals are 9-0-2 in this series since their last regulation loss on Nov. 20, 2009.
Mathieu Perreault led Washington with three goals in last season’s series, while Ovechkin had a pair.
In addition, Braden Holtby, who has a 5.04 goals-against average this season, has stopped 44 of 46 shots with one shutout in two career starts against Montreal.
The Canadiens rebounded from a weak 2-1 season-opening defeat versus the Maple Leafs on Saturday with a 4-1 win against the Florida Panthers on Tuesday. Defenseman Andrei Markov scored a pair of goals — his first in only 17 games played since Nov. 9, 2010 — and 18-year-old Alex Galchenyuk had the first of his career.
This is the first of two games away from home for the Canadiens in their first nine contests.