Hockey BettingThe Washington Capitals will be chasing much more than revenge when they hit the Bell Centre ice to take on the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night. A quick glance at the Eastern conference standings reveals exactly why. Alex Ovechkin and the Capitals have won eight straight games to pull to within just a single point of the Philadelphia Flyers for first place overall.

Washington Capitals @ Montreal Canadiens

Tuesday March 15, 2011 – 7:00 PM ET


Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec


Online Sports Betting
Odds: Washington Capitals - 110

That’s where the Capitals finished a year ago, before they were upset by Montreal in the seventh game of their opening round series. Washington opened this year’s season series with one of their most complete efforts of the season in a 3-0 win at home, but fell 3-2 in a shootout to the Canadiens the last time these teams met. Their final two meetings will take place over the next two weeks, with both games to be played north of the border.

Leading Up To Puck Drop: Washington Capitals

The Capitals have been the league’s hottest team over the past month, rocketing from the middle of the East standings to within a point of the first-place Flyers. However, while Washington has played a more complete game overall, they have done so against a relatively weak schedule. Ovechkin and company have faced just two teams currently in playoff position during their eight-game win streak, and were forced to at least overtime in both of those games, including a 2-1 shootout win over the faltering Tampa Bay Lightning, and a 4-3 overtime win on Sunday against the Chicago Blackhawks. Known for their high-powered offense and skilled forwards, the Capitals have gotten the job done with a more complete game at their own end, allowing more than two goals just once during their current run.

Leading Up To Puck Drop: Montreal Canadiens

Despite all that the team has been forced to deal with over the past couple of weeks, the Canadiens have been nearly as hot as Washington over that span. Montreal has won seven of its past nine games, including a 3-0 road win over the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday that pushed them to within two points of the Lightning for fifth spot in the East. Carey Price continues to prove management made the right move by keeping him over Jaroslav Halak in the summer, and is now second in the league in shutouts with eight after Saturday’s clean sheet. Montreal has beaten every other team in the Southeast division during their current run, and will now aim for the sweep in their third match against the Capitals.

The Match Up: Capitals vs. Canadiens

The Capitals have been solid over the past online sportsbook month but will have to lose eventually, and the ice at the Bell Centre hasn’t been too kind to Washington in recent years. Montreal has quietly put together a little run of their own, and will look to capitalize on back-to-back home games against the Capitals and Lightning to move closer to the Penguins for home ice advantage in the opening round of this year’s playoffs.

BSNblog Free Pick: Montreal Canadiens

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