Fans in Washington were left very disappointed after a 4-0 loss to rivals Pittsburgh on Wednesday but it's been a while since the Capitals dropped a couple in a row.
In contrast, putting wins together has proved tough for Montreal since taking five of their first seven games and they've been slipping down the standings. A lot of the time their belief seems to come from back to front, starting with Carey Price. They've only won once all season when their opponents have scored more than twice and they'd probably be even worse off had Price's play not been so exceptional.
Look for Max Pacioretty to kick on after a hat-trick earlier in the week. He was expected to be the Canadiens’ chief scoring threat but his campaign has been interrupted by injuries.
Although they were shutout on Wednesday, the Caps have frequently been surpassing the three goal mark with an improvement at even strength, balancing out the declined effectiveness of their special teams. Take Washington to bounce back in to the win column tonight at 2.25.
The Vancouver Canucks find themselves on the wrong side of a divide developing in the West and coach John Tortorella demanded a reaction tonight against Columbus after he called his team's effort versus Florida on Tuesday their "worst game of the year".
Goals have deserted the Canucks over the stretch of five losses. An experiment to put the Sedin twins with Ryan Kesler was cut short and their powerplay has cooled off completely, as opponents are learning to cut off their cycling of the puck to the blueline.
Apart from getting routed 7-0 in Edmonton, the Jackets have actually been doing a solid job recently as that was the only time they've failed to pick up at least a point in seven.
Already without Marian Gaborik and with Nathan Horton still unable to make his debut for the club, leading forward Brandon Dubinsky is now set for a short spell in the treatment room. Under 4.5 goals looks to be a good shout at odds of 2.18. That lack of offence should contribute to a tight game and I like the chances of the tie through regulation at 3.95.
Washington Capitals to win at 2.25
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