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Ovechkin on Montreal: 'You don't need to drink Red Bull'

The morning skate just wrapped up here at Bell Centre and, as expected, it looks like Semyon Varlamov will get the start in goal. His counterpart appears to be Carey Price, who made 32 stops in a 3-2 Canadiens' victory when the teams met in Washington on Nov. 20.

Defenseman Shaone Morrisonn (concussion) made the trip and will be a game-time decision, according to Bruce Boudreau. But the coach said none of the other injured players, including Alexander Semin, made the trip, which continues on to Raleigh for a game on Monday.

Alex Ovechkin said he's looking for a little redemption against the Canadiens, who held him off the scoresheet eight days ago. He figures to be matched against defensemen Roman Hamrlik and Jarsolav Spacek again.

"It was my second game after injury," Ovechkin said. "I felt great against New York. But against Montreal, I felt kind of sleepy."

Boudreau added: "I never know when [Ovechkin is going to have a big night]. But I know he's due. He hasn't had a multi-point game since he's come back from injury. He does love to play here."

Ovechkin was having his best game since returning from injury during Wednesday's 2-0 win over the Sabres prior to being ejected in the third period. So we'll see if that was, in fact, Ovechkin's return to 100-percent health.

Boudreau said he also hopes the Buffalo game has given his players confidence in the third period, which, as we all know, have been a problem area for the Caps all season.

"Hopefully we get into that position again and hopefully we learned from what we did the other night," he said. "We not only kept the lead, we increased it, which is what we want to do."

So what was different, Bruce?

"We attacked," he said. "We were proactive. And we worked. We still have to kill five minutes of penalties in the third period, but there was a different aura. They were determined not to let this slip away - and they didn't."

The Canadiens, meantime, are just as banged up as the Caps. Tonight, they are expected to be without: Scott Gomez, Brian Gionta, Andrei Kostitsyn, Andrei Markov, Hal Gill, Matt D'Agostini, Benoit Pouliot and Georges Laraque, who is suspended.

The quotes of the day belonged to Ovechkin.

When Ovechkin was asked to assess his start (17 goals in 19 games), he smiled and said, "Well, it's not bad. But it can be better."

Then Ovechkin was asked about playing in front of the manic crowds at Bell Centre: "In this building, with this crowd, it's an amazing building to play hockey. You don't have to drink Red Bull to play here."

A couple of times during the morning skate, Mathieu Perreault, a Montreal local on his first NHL stint, stared up into the empty stands in the arena he's always dreamed of playing. I'm sure his NHL debut was special, but it probably won't compare to the rush of emotions he'll get during warmups tonight, especially with so many friends and family members in the crowd.

"I'm more excited than nervous," he said.

And finally, there were about a dozen people on my flight to Montreal this morning. Six of them were coming for tonight's game, including three guys who were making a weekend trip out of it as well as Gary Kriebel from OFB and his wife, Gretchen.

I'll check in later with a lineup.

By Tarik El-Bashir  |  November 28, 2009; 1:10 PM ET
 
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Next: Tonight's lineup: Caps at Canadiens

Comments

I hope Perreault & his teammates put on quite a show for his hometown fans!

Posted by: uncatim | November 28, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Neither team can use excuses in this one. This has the potential to be a rout for the Caps, which they haven't had this year (a couple three goals wins are the biggest if I remember correctly). That being said, the Habs (especially Price) have been playing pretty well lately, so the Caps cannot take them lightly. As much fun as it'd be to see OV get a bunch of goals, I think I'd rather see Perreault net 2 or 3. Or maybe both of them can do it. I don't know why, but I am extra excited for this game; maybe it's because I have a hunch the Caps are gonna fill the net tonight.

Posted by: Aldred15 | November 28, 2009 1:44 PM | Report abuse

@ Aldred15
oh man from your mouth to Hockey God's ears :))

Posted by: Tondi | November 28, 2009 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Bonne chance tonight, #85!

LET'S GO, CAPS!!!

Posted by: wocoliz | November 28, 2009 4:03 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday Tarik! Let's Go Caps!!

Posted by: CapsChick | November 28, 2009 4:05 PM | Report abuse

good luck MP85!

Posted by: HawaiianCapsFan | November 28, 2009 4:13 PM | Report abuse

Wait, it's Tarik's Birthday? Happy Birthday Tarik! ;) GO CAPS!

"In this building, with this crowd, it's an amazing building to play hockey. You don't have to drink Red Bull to play here."

Haha, Ovie always has the best quotes.

Posted by: vtcaps08 | November 28, 2009 4:19 PM | Report abuse

I'm looking to meet a couple of friends downtown to watch the game. Where's the best place to watch a game with people actually watching the game around Verizon Center, any idea?
(my personal pet peeve is a bar labeled a sports bar where no one is watching)
Thanks.
Lets Go Caps - and No Red Bull Needed sounds like the next Ovi tee shirt :-)

Posted by: bluejeener1 | November 28, 2009 4:22 PM | Report abuse

http://www.hockeybuzz.com/blog.php?post_id=24598


This is why the NHL has such credibility problems. Granted, the hits are not exactly alike..Kaleta's hit was a bit more reckless, but not much more.

Both stupid plays...one person gets 2 games, the other doesn't. Of course, I am not complaining, but it's just funny.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 28, 2009 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Here's the Kaleta update. He has been suspended for 2 games.

I do think that Kaleta's hit on Ross was a lot worse than Ovi's hit on him. Ross was down and out for a lot longer than Kaleta was in the previous game.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 28, 2009 4:36 PM | Report abuse

For Tess, and others interested:

We are ROCKING THE WHITE for dinner.

mrstominfl1 is as deft in the kitchen as Nick Backstrom on the ice with his hockey stick.

She has made hollandaise with lemon (off our tree), butter and egg yolk and is sauteeing the shrimps in that sauce with bacon and feta cheese. Plus she is experimenting (the way BB switches lines) by wrapping some of these concoctions in won-tons and frying.

I have selected Abbeyville 2007 Fume Blanc but might upgrade before popping the cork.

With the aroma of bacon wafting in the air, I am as excited for the dinner as I am the game - broadcast on beautiful HD on the NHL Netowrk.

If the Caps play tonight half as well as mrstominfl1 cooks, they will whip the Habs soundly.

I will be looking for a 6-2 victory.

Rock the White!

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 28, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

I do think that Kaleta's hit on Ross was a lot worse than Ovi's hit on him. Ross was down and out for a lot longer than Kaleta was in the previous game.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 28, 2009 4:36 PM |

League follows through again. bases it's decision on injury/past occurrences.

Should it? Probably not..but that's the unfortunate (or fortunate for us in this case...not losing Ovi to 2 games) problem with the NHL's current credibility.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 28, 2009 4:42 PM | Report abuse

Bottomline: Neither hit deserved a suspension. I am fine with the 5/10.


Kaleta is one of the biggest wuss's in the league and I hate him but that hit didn't deserve 2 games. The league was just waiting to suspend him.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 28, 2009 4:46 PM | Report abuse

Happy Birthday, Tarik! I hope the Caps deliver a win for your gift!!

Posted by: rvan641 | November 28, 2009 4:48 PM | Report abuse

tominfl1: I was also calling a 6-2 game. Since we both predicted it, I think that means it's going to happen. Hat trick for Perreault, 2 for OV and Varly with the empty netter.

Posted by: Aldred15 | November 28, 2009 5:04 PM | Report abuse

and Varly with the empty netter.

Posted by: Aldred15 | November 28, 2009 5:04 PM |

That maybe getting a bit too ambitious.

Posted by: richmondphil | November 28, 2009 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Would love it if Nicky would get a goal tonight too! He's is due, as well.

Posted by: Bondra2Ovie | November 28, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

I have been wondering if the Caps are trying to shop Boyd Gordon so they can keep #85 in the line up????? You haven't heard much on Boyd's bad back.

Posted by: Caps4Life1 | November 28, 2009 6:00 PM | Report abuse

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl;_ylt=Apyc53Kc4IHOWS6.5dn93eY5nYcB

wow good job yahoo, im pretty sure that mike knuble is on our team now lol

Posted by: gringo184 | November 28, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

http://sports.yahoo.com/nhl;_ylt=Apyc53Kc4IHOWS6.5dn93eY5nYcB

wow good job yahoo, im pretty sure that mike knuble is on our team now lol

Posted by: gringo184 | November 28, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

hahahhaa someone got lazy with the stock photos... kudos on the journalism yahoo, you're almost as accurate as espn ;)

Posted by: mrszilla | November 28, 2009 6:10 PM | Report abuse

I would think there's a very strong possibility to move Boyd Gordon so Perreault can be kept. I also find it likely to move ShaMo and keep Alzner if young #27 can continue his play from the other night.

Gordo and Steckel give you two #4 centers. No team in hockey needs two #4 centers. And Stecks is more valuable due to his proficiency in the dot.

Gordo IMHO, I'm sorry to say, isn't doing any one thing well enough to secure his position on an NHL roster.

ShaMo and Gordo should get you a #2 and #3 that you can use March 1st.

Posted by: tominfl1 | November 28, 2009 6:12 PM | Report abuse

@tominfl1

It seems that, for all practical purposes, Boyd Gordon may have Wally Pipped his way out of the lineup. His absence opened the door for Perreault to stay long term, along with many other absences.

BTW, has BG been put on LTIR yet?

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 28, 2009 6:29 PM | Report abuse

@gringo184 and @mrszilla

Goes to show you how up-to-date Yahoo is on its information. First off, Knuble's with us, not the Flyers. Secondly, Knuble's injured as well.

(It almost seems like being the first line right wing for the Caps has been a jinx this year. Our main "candidates" for that job are both out.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 28, 2009 6:32 PM | Report abuse

@richmondphil

I'm kind of afraid of what will happen the next time Ovi hits someone.

Posted by: CapsFan75 | November 28, 2009 6:37 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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