With both the Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals coming off shootout victories Thursday evening, tonight's game at the Verizon Center should be a great matchup between two of the best goaltenders in today's game; Montreal's Carey Price and Washington's Braden Holtby.
For Montreal, their first game of the season saw them claw back and inch by the Buffalo Sabres in a shootout, led by Jonathan Drouin. Captain Max Pacioretty scored in the second period, while Phillip Danault sent the game to overtime with a shorthanded goal in the third.
Carey Price stopped all three shots in the shootout and 43 in the preceding 65 minutes to solidify his first win after signing a huge 8 year/$84 million contract extension this past summer.
How to watch
Puck drop: 7:00 PM EDT / 4:00 PM PDT
In Canada: City (English), TVA Sports (French)
In the United States: NBCSWA
Elsewhere: NHL.tv/NHL Game Centre Live, NHL Center Ice
Tale of the Tape
|1.00||5v5 goal ratio||1.25|
* - 2016-17 season
Washington's opener against the captain-less Ottawa Senators was a much more intense seesaw battle. The Capitals stormed back after being down 3-1 two minutes into the third. That's about the time Capitals' captain Alex Ovechkin, coming off a subpar season with only 33 goals and 69 points, decided to take over.
It's hard to fathom that saying getting 33 goals was a subpar season, but for Ovechkin it was his second lowest goal total ever. His low is 32, which happened twice, but once happened in the 2012-13 lockout-shortened season.
In the span of 6:33 in the third, he notched his 19th career regular season NHL hat trick, and then for good measure scored in the shootout. Teammate Evgeny Kuznetsov assisted on all three of Ovechkin’s tallies and scored the decisive goal in the shootout as they skated off 5-4 winners, despite not leading at all through regulation, much like the Habs.
The real storyline of tonight's game is the goaltending. As stated, both Holtby and Price are top of their class when it comes to their position in the NHL. They finished second and third in voting for the Vezina Trophy last June when Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky wound up taking home his second career Vezina.
Tonight, the Canadiens will try to make it two wins in a row to start the season for the third time in four seasons.