CANADIENS (1-0-0) @ CAPITALS (0-0-0)
Following Wednesday’s season opening 4-3 win in Toronto, the Canadiens get right back to work on Thursday, taking on the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center.
Playing three games in four nights, head coach Michel Therrien has opted to go with Dustin Tokarski between the pipes in the American capital. Tokarski officially earned the backup role on Sunday, when incumbent Peter Budaj was dealt to the Winnipeg Jets.
In three regular seasons starts a year ago, the 25-year-old netminder registered a pair of wins, including one shutout, before impressing with his inspired postseason play when called on to fill in for an injured Carey Price.
Michel Therrien's lineup will be almost identical to the one he iced on Wednesday in Toronto, notably swapping in Travis Moen for Dale Weise.
On the opposite side of the ice, new head coach Barry Trotz will be without the services of injured Capitals Jay Beagle, Dimitry Orlov, Tom Wilson and Aaron Volpatti during his first game behind the Washington bench. Mike Green is also questionable ahead of Thursday’s contest.
On defense, offseason acquitions Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpikare set to make their Capitals debuts, while rookies Andre Burakovsky and Liam O’Brien will be playing in their first NHL game.
The Canadiens will face a tough test in Washington goalkeeper Braden Holtby, who is undefeated against the Habs in five career starts.
Last year, the Canadiens finished the season with one win and two losses against the Caps, including one overtime defeat.