WASHINGTON - Here are five things you need to know ahead of Thursday's game against the Capitals at Capital One Arena.
1. The Canadiens played one of their best games of the season on Tuesday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning at the Bell Centre. The Habs came back from one-goal leads twice against the best team in the NHL on their way to an important 4-2 win. Centerman Nate Thompson scored his first goal as a Hab, while Joel Armia lit the lamp in the second period to set a new career high with his 13th of the season. It wouldn't be until Artturi Lehkonen scored in the final frame, however, that the Habs would take the lead and run with it. Max Domi scored the fourth goal for Montreal.
Video: Lehkonen helps Canadiens top Lightning, 4-2
2. Thanks to the win, the Canadiens have the same number of points as the Blue Jackets, but Columbus owns the tiebreaker as they have more regulation/overtime wins. That said, Montreal could find itself back in playoff position on Thursday because the Jackets are idle until their Friday night tilt with the Rangers in New York. As for the Carolina Hurricanes, they currently have 95 points, one more than both Montreal and Columbus. The Canes welcome the New Jersey Devils to PNC Arena on Thursday.
3. This is the third and final meeting of the season between the Canadiens and Capitals, who haven't done battle since November. The Habs won the first showdown 6-4 at the Bell Centre, a game in which rookie Jesperi Kotkaniemi scored his first two NHL goals. Todd Reirden's troops took the second game 5-4 in overtime thanks to Lars Eller's game winner.
4. The Caps are riding high right now, having won four of their last five games. As can be expected, captain Alex Ovechkin leads his team with 51 goals and has become just the third player in League history to hit the 50-goal plateau eight times in his career. Mike Bossy and Wayne Gretzky are the other two. The 33-year-old Russian is also the Caps' top point-getter with 89, while centers Nicklas Backstrom (74 points) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (72 points) round out Washington's top-3.
5. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. You can catch all the action on TSN2 and RDS on television, and on TSN 690 and 98,5 fm on the radio.