The Washington Capitals will try to put on a better show for the packed house at Verizon Center on Friday than they did two nights earlier.
The Capitals will attempt to wash away the taste of a 4-0 whipping by the Pittsburgh Penguins when the Montreal Canadiens come to town. The Penguins beat Washington for the fifth time in a row and ended the Capitals' three-game winning streak.
Here's a complete look at the games scheduled for Friday:
New York Islanders at Pittsburgh Penguins -- The Islanders are 3-7-0 on the road this season, but one of those three victories away from Nassau Coliseum came in their previous visit to Consol Energy Center, a 4-3 win on Oct. 25. New York is 2-6-0 in its past eight games, including a 5-2 road loss to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday, and has dropped to the bottom of the Metropolitan Division. The Penguins are on top of the division, three points ahead of Washington, after blanking the Capitals on Wednesday. With back-to-back games this weekend, the Penguins may give backup goalie Jeff Zatkoff the start against the last-place Islanders and save Marc-Andre Fleury for their visit to the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
Montreal Canadiens at Washington Capitals -- Montreal is expected to start backup goalie Peter Budaj against the Capitals and save Carey Price for the home game against Pittsburgh on Saturday. Budaj has played just four times this season, but his numbers are better than Price's -- he's 3-1-0 with a 1.48 goals-against average and a .945 save percentage. Washington captain Alex Ovechkin has always had good success against the Canadiens: He has scored 17 goals and has 32 points in 30 regular-season games.
Florida Panthers at Calgary Flames -- The Panthers complete a five-game road trip with a visit to Scotiabank Saddledome after losing 4-1 to the Edmonton Oilers on Thursday night. Scottie Upshall had Florida's lone goal and Tim Thomas stopped 31 shots. The Flames continue to struggle in their own building; they've lost six in a row in Calgary and got their first point at home since Oct. 26 when they lost 2-1 in overtime to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Wednesday.
Columbus Blue Jackets at Vancouver Canucks -- Columbus has won two of its first three games on a five-game Canadian road trip, sandwiching wins against the Ottawa Senators and Flames around a 7-0 loss in Edmonton on Tuesday. The Blue Jackets have had 14 and 18 shots in their past two games, but Nikita Nikitin's overtime goal Wednesday gave Columbus a win in Calgary. Vancouver has dropped five in a row and scored only six goals in that span.
Tampa Bay Lightning at Anaheim Ducks -- The Lightning began a four-game trip against the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday with a 7-0-0 record against Western Conference teams. Six days later, that record is 7-3-0 after a 5-1 loss to the San Jose Sharks on Thursday. Tampa Bay has been outscored 16-6 in the three games. Anaheim let one get away against the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday, allowing the Devils to tie the game with 61 seconds left in regulation and putting the OT winner into its own net. The Ducks are tied with San Jose for the Pacific Division lead, with 33 points, but they're winless in five games.
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