The Washington Capitals made their way north of the border Wednesday afternoon in advance of their tilt with the Canadiens tonight. Due to Canadian regulations, Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin did not make the trip due to his recent bout with COVID.
The Capitals held their gameday morning skate Thursday morning at the Bell Centre in Montreal. Following the skate head coach Peter Laviolette met with the media via a Zoom call.
Laviolette said that Ilya Samsonov will get the start in goal tonight. Samsonov is 14-6-0-3 on the season with a 2.89 goals against average and a .902 save percentage.
The Washington Capitals face the Montreal Canadiens tonight for the second time this season. The Capitals won the first matchup, 6-3, on Nov. 24, 2021 at Capital One Arena. The Capitals have earned points in 17 of their last 18 games at Bell Centre (15-1-2), a span that began on Nov. 28, 2009. Washington is scheduled to play five of their next six games on the road.
Nic Of Time
Nic Dowd is entering tonight’s game after recording two points (1g, 1a) against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night, marking his third multi-point game of the season. With 13 points (7g, 6a) in 35 games this season, Dowd is averaging his highest points per game rate in his career at 0.37, currently surpassing his career total of 0.25 entering this season.
In the game versus Columbus, Dowd also won 17 of 18 face-offs (94.4%), tying his career high. Since the NHL began tracking face-offs in 1997-98, Dowd’s 94.4 win percentage is tied for the eighth-highest percentage by a player with at least 18 face-offs taken in a game.