The road has been treacherous for the Washington Capitals this season; a mediocre 8-14-3 record speaks for itself. Yet, the Caps will revisit the site of one of its rare and dominant road victories Saturday when they head to Montreal to face the Canadiens.
A pivotal two-game trip to Florida ended with a 0-1-1 record in losses to division rivals Tampa Bay and Florida. The loss to the Panthers Wednesday knocked the Caps from first place in the Southeast Division and third in the Eastern Conference to second and ninth, respectively. Friday, Florida defeated the Winnipeg Jets 2-1, which gave the former a three-point cushion in the division, but also prevented the Jets from tying the Caps for second.
Washington will surely get a boost from the return of Alex Ovechkin, who will play in his first game since January 22 after serving a three-game suspension. The Caps went 1-1-1 without him, but they were missing and will continue to miss Nicklas Backstrom (head injury) and Mike Green (abdominal surgery). Looking for some offensive help, the Caps recalled AHL leading scorer Keith Aucoin from the Hershey Bears Thursday.
This is the second meeting between the Caps and Habs this season. In the first meeting January 18, Washington scored early and often in a 3-0 victory. According to Japers' Rink, the Caps are 6-0 against Canadian teams under head coach Dale Hunter, outscoring their opponents 19-8 with two shutouts.
Tomas Vokoun will start for Washington.