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A Chance to Capitalize

by Staff Writer / Montréal Canadiens
BROSSARD – Two of the hottest teams in the League will square off Tuesday night when the Washington Capitals visit the Habs at the Bell Centre.


With only one loss in their last seven games, the Canadiens will be looking to snap the Caps current eight game win streak and keep propelling themselves up the Eastern Conference standings. After remaining home sick for Monday’s team practice, sniper Michael Cammalleri was back on the ice Tuesday morning to take part in an optional skate.

Cammalleri

“I was just a little under the weather there, no big deal. I’ll be in the lineup tonight. Washington has been playing really well lately, but so have we. We’re a team that seems to like playing in tough games so it should be a good one tonight,” stated Cammalleri who went on to offer a reason his team has been able to keep winning despite the loss several key players.

“We’ve been playing a very good checking style and that’s really been helping us win games, not to mention of course that we’ve really been able to rely on Carey too. We have a lot of extremely competitive people in this locker room and I think that’s what’s been helping us to continue having success even when maybe we shouldn’t be.”

While the Habs first game back at the Bell Centre since losing forward Max Pacioretty to a concussion and neck injury should be an emotional one, P.K. Subban is just glad to be home after playing five of their last six games on the road.

“We’re a team that feeds off our crowd and our city’s energy so it’s obviously great to be home and get to play a few games here,” said the 21-year-old defenseman who’s already amassed 29 points in his rookie season with the Habs.

“I’d be lying if I said that we haven’t been thinking about Patches for the past few games, but I think we’ve handled it well and managed to keep our focus in every game. We have a lot of leadership in this room and it really helps make sure that everyone’s ready to go and our heads are in the right place.”

After playing some of his best hockey of the season to help the Habs on their recent upswing, center Lars Eller gave his take on preparing to go up against one of the NHL’s most dynamic players.

“A lot of their guys are players that I’ve really admired. I’ve tried to take different things from their game and put it into my own,” explained the Dane. “Playing someone like Ovechkin makes you have to be a lot more aware when you’re out on the ice. You have to know what his strengths and his weaknesses are and try to see if there’s a pattern in his game that you can use to your advantage.”

Canadiens head-coach Jacques Martin will also be looking for ways to turn the tables on the red-hot Caps when the puck drops at 7:00pm. After splitting the season series with Washington at one apiece, Martin and his troops will be gunning for a repeat performance from their 3-2 victory in the teams’ last meeting.

“They’re the 4th best defensive team in the League but they also obviously pack a big offensive punch,” pointed out Martin. “They’re a well-balanced group with a lot of size and they’ve undergone a change in their philosophy recently. Tonight’s going to be a hard battle for both teams and it should be a very tight game.”

Justin Fragapane is a writer for canadiens.com.


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