Top 10 best games: Caps vs. Canadiens

Top 10 best games: Caps vs. Canadiens
August 14, 2013, 12:15 pm
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With single-game tickets now on sale, CSNWashington.com is counting down the top 10 must-see Capitals games in 2013-14 (the countdown includes both home and away games).

Below is a look at the countdown so far:

GAME #10: MARCH 25, 2014 CAPITALS VS. LOS ANGELES KINGS 

GAME #9: FEBRUARY 8, 2014: CAPITALS VS. NEW JERSEY DEVILS 

GAME #8: JANUARY 25, 2014 CAPITALS @ MONTREAL CANADIENS

Few stretches of hockey will be as demanding for the Capitals next season as a lengthy window in January. From Jan. 2 – Jan. 31, the Capitals will play 15 games in 30 days, including three sets of back-to-backs.

The Capitals will also spend much of January on the road with 10 of the 15 games taking place outside the District. The grueling stretch also includes a season-long five-game road trip which will be played out over eight days from Jan. 24-31. 

That said, if there is one game that the Capitals will likely have no trouble getting up for, it’s their Jan. 25 Hockey Night in Canada showdown in Montreal. 

“In this building, with this crowd, it’s an amazing building to play in,” Alex Ovechkin once said of Montreal’s Bell Centre. “You don’t have to drink Red Bull to play here.”

The Capitals won both meetings in Montreal last season with Ovechkin netting three goals and four points in the two wins. 

Braden Holtby (3-0-0 lifetime in Montreal with a .963 save percentage and 1.00 goals-against-average) has also enjoyed much success against the Canadiens, having earned his first career road shutout at Bell Centre in 2011. 

CANADA’S BEST:

As colleague Brian McNally noted last week, Holtby was one of five goalies invited to Hockey Canada’s Olympic Orientation Camp later this month, along with Corey Crawford (Blackhawks), Roberto Luongo (Canucks), Carey Price (Canadiens) and Mike Smith (Coyotes). 

The Olympic rosters will have already been announced by the time the Capitals and Canadiens meet in late January, but there is a remote possibility that both Holtby and Price will be Sochi bound.

Price has come a long way since serving as Jaroslav Halak’s backup during the 2010 Stanley Cup Playoffs, but Olie Kolzig’s former pupil has struggled against the Capitals throughout his career with a 4-8-3 lifetime record, .878 save percentage and 3.06 goals-against-average. 

Reigning Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban should be a lock to make Team Canada in 2014 and his presence on the Canadiens blue line only adds to the appeal of the Washington-Montreal matchup.  

FRIENDLY CONFINES:  

It is also worth noting that the Capitals have dominated the Canadiens- at least during the regular season- in recent years.

Since the Canadiens rallied from a 3-1 series deficit and beat the Capitals in the 2010 Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Washington has gone 9-1-1 against Montreal including a perfect 6-0-0 at Bell Centre. 

Thanks to an increase in inter-conference travel though, the Capitals will make only one trip next season to La Belle Province- the first time since 1991-92 that the Capitals will visit Montreal just once.