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Streaking Habs visit sliding Caps
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Montreal Canadiens and Washington Capitals are headed in opposite directions. They meet for the second time in a week on Friday evening with a rematch in D.C.
The Canadiens have ripped off a season high-tying four straight victories, a span that includes a 3-2 victory in Washington on Nov. 22. That setback is part of a season-high four-game slide for the Capitals.
Montreal kept its winning streak intact on Wednesday with a 3-1 win over the Buffalo Sabres. David Desharnais had a goal and an assist, while Alex Galchenyuk and Brendan Gallagher also scored.
Desharnais has two goals and three assists over his past four games after going 13 in a row without a point.
"In the last two weeks he's playing well," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said of Desharnais. "He's competing to the puck, he's working hard on both sides of the ice. It's not a coincidence that he's got success. He's working really hard."
Andrei Markov assisted on all three goals and P.K. Subban notched the 100th assist of his career on Desharnais' second-period goal. Carey Price stopped 24-of-25 shots faced in the win as the Habs moved to 6-1-1 in their last eight.
Peter Budaj is slated to get the start for Montreal tonight, with Price in line to start on Saturday against visiting Toronto. Budaj is 1-2-1 with a 2.73 goals against average in five games (4 starts) versus the Capitals, stopping 25-of-27 shots faced in last Friday's victory.
Desharnais, Travis Moen and Daniel Briere all scored for the Canadiens, while Alex Ovechkin scored both of the Capitals' goals and Michal Neuvirth made 28 saves in defeat.
Washington had won eight of its previous nine versus Montreal before that setback.
The Capitals were in a good position to snap their skid on Wednesday versus the Ottawa Senators, but struggled late in a 6-4 loss. Zack Smith netted the winner for the Sens with 2:23 to play.
Washington got first-period goals by Eric Fehr, Marcus Johansson and Brooks Laich, while John Carlson scored 62 seconds before Smith's go-ahead goal.
Braden Holtby gave up five goals on 40 shots faced.
"We had them. We were close to putting our stamp on it, but we let them back," Carlson said. "It's tough. We need wins right now and this is certainly one that we can look back on and make sure it doesn't happen again because it's not a good loss."
Holtby could start again tonight and has won all three of his previous starts versus the Canadiens while posting a 1.00 GAA and a shutout.
11/29 11:01:17 ET
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