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Capitals at Canadiens preview

Ovechkin to serve suspension for Washington; Montreal looks for third straight win

by Sean Farrell / Independent Correspondent

CAPITALS (33-11-5) at CANADIENS (22-21-7)



The Game

Alex Ovechkin won't play for the Washington Capitals when they visit the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Monday.

The forward, who has eight goals in his past three games, including consecutive hat tricks, will serve a one-game suspension for sitting out the 2020 Honda NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis.

Washington has won three straight games and is 6-2-0 in its past eight. 

Montreal has won two straight and is 4-1-0 in its past five games after losing eight straight (0-7-1).


Players to watch

Capitals forward Jakub Vrana has nine points (seven goals, two assists) during an eight-game point streak.

Canadiens forward Ilya Kovalchuk has eight points (four goals, four assists) in eight games since signing with Montreal on Jan. 3.


They said it

"I think [Richard Panik] has the ability to play both (wings). We've obviously seen the majority of him on the right side, but we felt this was the right move for our team tonight. Obviously, knowing that [Ovechkin] will be back next game, you don't want to disrupt a ton of stuff." -- Capitals coach Todd Reirden on moving Panik to the top line  

"That's an elite hockey team over there, obviously. They've proven it time and time again. They won a Stanley Cup pretty recently so they know how to win and a lot of experience over there. But that being said, you've got to respect that team, but not too much. You've got to understand and just go out and commit to the game plan and stick with it and worry about getting the two points." -- Canadiens forward Max Domi


Capitals projected lineup

Richard Panik -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- T.J. Oshie

Carl Hagelin -- Lars Eller -- Travis Boyd

Brendan Leipsic -- Nic Dowd -- Garnet Hathaway

Michal Kempny -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Nick Jensen

Jonas Siegenthaler -- Radko Gudas

Braden Holtby

Ilya Samsonov

Scratched: None

Injured: None

Suspended: Alex Ovechkin


Canadiens projected lineup

Tomas Tatar -- Phillip Danault -- Ilya Kovalchuk 

Max Domi -- Nick Suzuki -- Joel Armia

Ryan Poehling -- Jesperi Kotkaniemi -- Artturi Lehkonen

Nick Cousins-- Nate Thompson -- Dale Weise

Ben Chiarot -- Shea Weber

Brett Kulak -- Jeff Petry

Victor Mete -- Cale Fleury

Carey Price

Charlie Lindgren

Scratched: Jordan Weal

Injured: Brendan Gallagher (upper body), Paul Byron (upper body), Jonathan Drouin (wrist), Marco Scandella (lower body)


Status report

Scandella is questionable, Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. … Gallagher and Drouin wore non-contact jerseys during morning skate, and Byron practiced on his own afterward.


Stat pack

Carlson has six assists during a four-game point streak. … Danault has five points (one goal, four assists) during a three-game point streak. … Weise will play his 500th NHL game.

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