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Washington Capitals Pregame: Montreal Canadiens

The Washington Capitals (24-18-2) take on the Montreal Canadiens (17-20-8) tonight at the Bell Centre. This is the first of four meetings this season between the two teams. Last year the Capitals took three of the four games, but both teams are much different this season. Both teams are trying to make a mid-season push for the playoffs and to stay in the race for the postseason.

I have to imagine that Michal Neuvirth will be getting his first start in the past 11 games, after Tomas Vokoun and the rest of the squad lost 3-0 to the New York Islanders last night. Neuvirth hasn’t played in a game since December 26, 2011. However, coach Dale Hunter stated that the problem last night wasn’t the goal tending, but more so the penalty kill, meaning Vokoun could make his 11th straight start tonight.

The Capitals offense of late has not been there, with the team being out shot by more than 50 shots over the last four games. That is a serious problem and the team will have to just start throwing everything at net. As they teach you at a young age, throw a shot on net and it might go in. Alex Ovechkin is still being looked on to provide the offense, but his supporting role will have to step up soon.

The defense will have to be strong in front of net, which they have been of late, blocking close to 20 shots per game in their past five or six. However, that many blocked shots means the team doesn’t have control of the puck that often.

The game begins at 7:30 EST and can be viewed on RDS and CSN-MA.

Let’s Go Caps! Rock the Red!

Follow Matthew on twitter @BurntFrosty and @WashCapsRant.