Canadiens trade defenceman Marco Scandella to Blues for two draft picks

Ross Houston
February 22, 2020

The Washington Capitals smoked the Devils in the last meeting and have won seven of the last 10 meetings against them overall.

The Capitals are 8-3 in their last 11 games as a road favorite, 19-8 in their last 27 road games and 1-5 in their last 6 overall. The Canadiens have 20 games left but the way they are playing at the moment, they will probably not be able to make up the ground needed to get in. Earlier in the week, Pittsburgh passed the Caps for the top spot in the Metro standings. Ovechkin has historically had the Habs' number, with the goal on Thursday night being his 33rd career marker in just 50 games against Montreal. But Montreal defenseman Ben Chiarot scored the victor on a one-timer through Braden Holtby's five-hole just 58 seconds into overtime, Chairot's second goal of the night.

The Washington Capitals are averaging 3.5 goals per game and are scoring on 20.7 percent of their power play opportunities.

"Obviously we're giving up way too many breakaways", Backstrom said. Especially against a team like this who have five guys back and they backcheck really hard with a lot of speed, you've got to get it deep.

"It nearly feels like we think it's boring to play that way", Hagelin added. "That's the way hockey should be played, and that's when hockey is fun". The Caps' top six has scuffled of late, and Caps coach Todd Reirden tweaked his top two units at Friday's practice, swapping out middle men Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov.

Ovechkin also weighed in before Thursday's game. "We've got to chip it in to one of our guys, not one of their guys". And that's not good enough. We're excited about the group. Will Kovalchuk get his ticket out of town or will the fact that he produced less lately means that the Habs won't get worthy offers and might just made a decision to let the fans enjoy the Kovalshow to finish the season? "It's just going to take care of itself". While Gallagher commented on his return saying that this kind of leadership is why Weber is the captain, I for one can not help but think that it is for all intent and purposes pointless. "If you're not paying attention to what he's doing out there, then it's going to hurt you eventually. We need to help him a little bit more". "That is something that needs to be pushed out of our group and will continue to be every day". Center Blake Coleman was dealt to Tampa Bay, a trade that brought the Devils a first-round pick and a prospect in return. Defensively, the New Jersey Devils are allowing 3.4 goals per game and are killing 80.9 percent of their opponents power plays.

Washington's.500 points pct. over its last 23 games is behind that of even the Devils over the same time frame.

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