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Monday, March 20th (All times eastern)

Montreal Canadiens (31-26-9) at Washington Capitals (22-36-8), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - With the Atlanta Thrashers breathing down their necks, the Montreal Canadiens try to end a three-game skid tonight when they visit the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center.

The eighth-place Habs currently have 71 points -- one ahead of the ninth-place Thrashers in the race for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.

On Saturday the Canadiens dropped a 5-4 tilt against Pittsburgh, as Andre Roy's third-period goal lifted the Penguins. Sheldon Souray scored a pair of power-play goals while Jan Bulis and Garth Murray also lit the lamp for Montreal.

David Aebischer struggled for the second straight time since being acquired at the trade deadline from Colorado, as the new Montreal netminder let in five goals for the second consecutive game.

Montreal will visit the NY Islanders on Tuesday.

Washington, meanwhile, has lost its last five games. On Saturday, Roberto Luongo stopped 37-of-40 shots and did not allow a goal in the shootout, as the Capitals lost, 4-3, to the visiting Florida Panthers at the Verizon Center.

Chris Clark recorded his first career hat-trick for the Capitals, and Alexander Ovechkin assisted on two of Clark's goals. Olaf Kolzig stopped 41 of the 44 shots he faced.

The Capitals, with 52 points, are 14th in the Eastern Conference standings.

Washington will open a seven-game road trip on Wednesday in Florida.

The Caps have won both meetings with the Habs this season, and taken three of the last four clashes overall.

03/20 10:15:21 ET

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