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Preview: Capitals (38-30) at Canadiens (46-28)
BT Movements  ·  Line Movements
Date: January 25, 2014 7:00 PM EDT

The Washington Capitals haven't experienced this steep of a slide in more than three years.

The Montreal Canadiens haven't been much better, but their poor defensive-zone play could get a reprieve against the offensively challenged Capitals.

The two slumping clubs will meet Saturday night in Montreal with each hoping to avoid a winless weekend after extending their losing streaks Friday.

After beginning a five-game road trip with a 2-1 loss at New Jersey, Washington (22-21-8) has gone winless in seven straight for the first time since dropping eight in a row from Dec. 2-18, 2010.


It's the team's 13 losses in its last 16 contests that tell a more complete story.

"Look what's happening. Look at our results. It's the same mistakes, mostly by veteran guys, but we can't shoot ourselves in the foot," Capitals coach Adam Oates said. "You play a decent game, right? It was a good game, good hard-fought game, but we got behind and we couldn't catch up."

Alex Ovechkin missed his second straight game as the Capitals' offensive futility continued, and they could be without another key forward against Montreal. Mikhail Grabovski left the game in the second period with a leg injury and didn't return. Oates was uncertain of his status after the game.

Jason Chimera's third-period goal was just the Caps' eighth on the seven-game skid, during which they've scored more than a goal once as they plummet in the Metropolitan Division standings.

"It's very frustrating," Oates said. "Penalties in the offensive zone. All the same mistakes. Same speech to you."

Their normally effective power play (23.2 percent) is 1 for its last 25 over the course of nine games.

"Power play's not good enough, maybe because they're tired, maybe it's because it puts too much pressure on them," Oates said.

The Canadiens (27-19-5), meanwhile, have lost three straight and four of five with 22 goals allowed in that span after Friday's 4-1 loss at Detroit.

Brendan Gallagher scored for the second time in three games, but the team has been outscored 9-2 in the last two.

"Just little, unfortunate breakdowns that we know better. Just little things cost us," Gallagher said.

Carey Price fell to 1-4-0 since Jan. 14 with a 4.40 goals-against average and .855 save percentage.

Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby, who started 24 of the team's first 29 games, is 0-3-1 since Dec. 10 with a 4.20 GAA and .854 save percentage. He started Tuesday against Ottawa for the first time since Jan. 4 and is 4-0-0 with a 1.23 GAA and .957 save percentage in his career against Montreal.

The teams split two games in Washington earlier this season, with the Capitals earning a 3-2 shootout win in the latest meeting on Nov. 29. Ovechkin scored twice in a 3-2 loss on Nov. 22, while Canadiens center Daniel Briere scored in both.

Montreal backup Peter Budaj started both games and posted a 1.92 GAA.

The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

 Team  ML   PUC   O/U 
 WAS  +135      5.5 
 MON  -155      

 Team  ML   PUC   O/U 
 WAS  +145      5.5 
 MON  -165      

 Team  ML   PUC   O/U 
 WAS  30%   27%   84% 
 MON  70%   73%   16% 

 Nov 29, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 MON 2 Under: 5 
 WAS 3 Cover: 321 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Nov 22, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 MON 3 Under: 5 
 WAS 2 Cover: 274 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 20, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 WAS 5 Over: 6 
 MON 1 Cover: 236 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Apr 9, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 WAS 3 Under: 5 
 MON 2 Cover: 229 
 Tools:   Boxscores    Recaps
 Jan 24, 2013  Score  ATS Results 
 MON 4 Under: 5 
 WAS 1 Cover: 257 

 Saturday, Jan 25
    Senators at Hurricanes
12:05 PM EDT
    Blues at Islanders
1:05 PM EDT
    Bruins at Flyers
1:05 PM EDT
    Avalanche at Lightning
7:05 PM EDT
    Capitals at Canadiens
7:05 PM EDT
    Maple Leafs at Jets
7:05 PM EDT
    Sabres at Blue Jackets
7:05 PM EDT
    Penguins at Stars
8:05 PM EDT
    Ducks at Kings
10:10 PM EDT
    Wild at Sharks
10:35 PM EDT
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