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Canadiens vs. Capitals: Game thread, rosters, lines, and how to watch

Does the new coach bring a new energy to the team in his first game?

Washington Capitals v Montreal Canadiens Photo by Francois Lacasse/NHLI via Getty Images

Montreal Canadiens vs. Washington Capitals

How to watch

Start time: 7:00 PM EST / 4:00 PM PST
In the Canadiens region: TSN2 (English), RDS (French)
In the Capitals region: NBC Sports Washington
Streaming: ESPN+, NHL Live, RDS Direct, TSN Direct

A day after being hired, Martin St. Louis will step behind the bench for the first time as the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, aiming to get better performances out of his new players. The Habs have been outscored 20-6 in their past three games, and at the very least he will be attempting to keep the gap much smaller this evening.

By the looks of the lines at today’s practice, St. Louis has opted to leave things intact from the final game of Dominique Ducharme’s tenure, but it probably won’t be long before he’s mixing things up. We will pay particularly close attention to how Cole Caufield gets deployed, currently in a fourth-line spot and not seeing a great deal of minutes in Ducharme’s final days.

The Canadiens won’t have to face Alexander Ovechkin tonight as his positive COVID test before the All-Star Game has prevented him from traveling to Montreal, so his quest to finish atop the NHL’s goals leaderboard will have to wait. The Washington Capitals have had to make up a person to play in his spot on the top line, but it’s still a dangerous offensive team that the Canadiens face, with decent depth on the roster. Similar defensive indifference to what we’ve been watching recently would result in another lopsided loss for the home team, so the “concepts” will have to be sharp from the drop of the puck.

Montreal Canadiens projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Artturi Lehkonen Nick Suzuki Tyler Toffoli
Rem Pitlick Jake Evans Josh Anderson
Mike Hoffman Laurent Dauphin Brendan Gallagher
Joel Armia Ryan Poehling Cole Caufield

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Brett Kulak Jeff Petry
Alexander Romanov Ben Chiarot
Kale Clague Chris Wideman

Goaltenders

Starter Backup
Starter Backup
Samuel Montembeault Cayden Primeau

Washington Capitals projected lineup

Forwards

Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Left Wing Centre Right Wing
Joe Snively Evgeny Kuznetsov Tom Wilson
Conor Sheary Nicklas Backstrom Daniel Sprong
Carl Hagelin Nic Dowd Garnet Hathaway
Connor McMichael Lars Eller Brett Leason

Defencemen

Left Defence Right Defence
Left Defence Right Defence
Martin Fehervary John Carlson
Dmitri Orlov Nick Jensen
Trevor van Riemsdyk Justin Schultz

Goaltenders

Starter Backup
Starter Backup
Ilya Samsonov Pheonix Copley