The Washington Capitals' recently-concluded four-game road trip did not end well. Three straight losses has the Caps mired in mediocrity with seemingly no end in sight. Yet, despite that, Washington is still in the thick of the Eastern Conference playoff race and will look to gain ground Friday against the Montreal Canadiens at Verizon Center.
A 1-3-0 road trip has the Caps in 10th place in the East, two points behind ninth-place Toronto and three behind eighth-place Florida (the Winnipeg Jets are four points ahead of Washington and lead the Southeast Division). Meanwhile, the Canadiens are the East's worst team with 58 points (just five behind the Caps).
Washington might be without Alex Ovechkin for the second straight game as he continues to suffer from a "lower-body" injury. Ovechkin missed Thursday's team practice, but skated for about 15 minutes beforehand. Without Ovechkin and Nicklas Backstrom (concussion), the Caps are without their two leading scorers.