Montreal Canadiens at Washington Capitals 10/9/2014 Free NHL Picks & Predictions
by Josh Schonwald - 10/8/2014
Thursday October 9, 2014
Verizon Center in Washington DC
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The Montreal Canadiens and the Washington Capitals will get their first looks at their 2014-15 teams when they go up against each other on Thursday night. The Canadiens will be playing their second game of the season while this will be the Caps' opening game.
Montreal may have ended up higher in the standings last year, but Washington was able to win two of their three games against the Canadiens. Both teams were able to beat the other by one goal early in the season, and then the Capitals blew Montreal out 5-0 later on in the year.
Last year, the Capitals had the second-best power play in the league, but they missed the playoffs for the first time since the 2006–07 season after finishing with just 90 points. Left wing Alex Ovechkin certainly didn't have his best season last year, but he still finished with a league-leading 51 goals. Goalie Braden Holtby had a .915 save percentage and finished with 23 wins in 48 games.
The Caps struggled all year on the defensive end last season, so they went out and signed former Penguins Matt Niskanen and Brooks Orpik. Niskanen scored a career high 10 goals last year and had 46 points in 81 games. The one player that may be missed in Washington this season is Mikhail Grabovski, who had 35 points in just 58 games last season.
Injuries to Watch
No injuries to report at this time
10/06/14 LW Aaron Volpatti Neck out indefinitely
10/06/14 RW Jay Beagle Upper Body doubtful Thursday vs. Montreal
10/05/14 D Mike Green Upper Body "?" Thursday vs. Montreal
10/05/14 RW Tom Wilson Leg out indefinitely
Josh's Pick: Take Washington
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