Game Preview by Sam Gerber
Last game: MTL 3  BUF 0  

Antti Niemi got his first shutout of the season as the Habs went on to sweep the season series against Buffalo. The Da La Rose line continued its strong play and the Sabres struggled to score helping out the Habs penalty killing woes.

For a complete recap: Season Sweep for Habs

Players to watch

  • Lars Eller
    With the Habs weakness at center, Montreal could have used Eller, a skilled player with size. Eller has become a depth center for the Caps and is a big part of their strength down the middle.
  • John Carlson
    A UFA after this season, Carlson is the Caps leader on the blue-line and is certainly going to get a pay raise this off-season.
  • Carey Price
    After a very strong against the Pens, Price gets another hard matchup against the Caps. Keeping the topline in check will be a challenge for the entire Canadiens team.

Keys to Victory

  • Continue penalty-kill momentum
    The Canadiens were good against a dismal Sabres power-play. It will be a much taller order against the Capitals who can be lethal with the man advantage.
  • Defend the paint
    The Habs need to keep everyone out of their goal crease and not be nice about it.  Alzner has done this reasonably well for most of the season.
  • Have a strong start
    The Caps love to score, and score in bunches especially when they get the first one. Habs need to contain that by having a quick start and not allowing back-to-back goals.
Matchup by All Habs staff
Bell Centre, Montreal, QC | March 24, 7:00 PM ET | TV: SN, TVA, NBCSW

2017-18 statistics

CAPITALS CANADIENS
58 (31st) Points (rank) 64 (27th)
43-27-7 Record 27-36-12
17-15-5 Away/Home 17-12-8
4-5-1 Last 10 1-7-2
3.07 GF/G 2.48
2.92 GA/G 3.08
22.4 PP% 20.1
79.9 PK% 74.9
 47.82  CF%  50.30
eSAT Analytics by Mathieu Chagnon
 
Projected forward lines, defense pairings and goaltenders
Forwards
Ovechkin – Kuznetsov – Wilson
Burakovsky – Backstrom – Oshie
Connolly – Eller – Vrana
Stephenson – Beagle – Chiasson
Byron – Drouin – Gallagher
Galchenyuk – De La Rose – Lehkonen
Scherbak – L. Shaw – Hudon
Deslauriers – McCarron – Carr
Defensemen
Orlov – Niskanen
Kempny – Carlson
Orpik – Jerabek
Reilly – Petry
Alzner – Juulsen
Benn – Lernout
Out of the lineup
Scratched: Djoos, Boyd, Smith-Pelly, Gersich
Injured: Holtby
Scratched: Froese
Injured: Weber, Hemsky, Pacioretty, Mete, Schlemko, Valiev, Danault, A. Shaw
Goalies
Philipp Grubauer Carey Price
Record: 12-9-3
GAA: 2.29
Sv%: .926
SO: 3
Alternate: Pheonix Copley
Record: 15-23-6
GAA: 3.03
Sv%: .903
SO: 1
Alternate: Antti Niemi
 What to Expect by Sam Gerber
Prediction: Canadiens 1  Capitals 2 

After playing last night the Habs need to come out fast and not let up. The Capitals lean on their star players and constantly attack waiting for a team ease up or make a mistake. Keeping Ovechkin in check is obvious, but the battle between Jacob De La Rose and Lars Eller is one to keep an eye on.

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