Montreal Canadiens (21-20-3-45, fourth in Northeast)
Washington Capitals (24-11-6-54, first in Southeast)
The Washington Capitals come home after a brutal road trip, losing to Los Angeles and San Jose by a combined 7-3, on the heels of getting routed in their last home game, 6-3, by Carolina.
Washington has not won since the trade that sent then-captain Chris Clark and defenseman Milan Jurcina to Columbus for winger Jason Chimera.
The Caps have not suffered four consecutive regulation losees since Nov. 2007, which triggered the move to bring in coach Bruce Boudreau.
Montreal lost Sunday, 1-0 to Buffalo, but has won their previous two games, over Florida and Tampa Bay.
Semyon Varlamov, who was sent to AHL Hershey to get back into playing shape, instead reinjured himself Sunday in a 4-1 win for Hershey and will miss perhaps another two weeks.
Nicklas Backstrom, who left the L.A. game with a migraine, practiced yesterday and should be available for the game with Montreal. Alexnader Semin missed practice with an undisclosed injury, but pronounced himself fine for the game.
The teams have split two games this season. Montreal won 3-2 in D.C. Nov. 19 and the Caps returned the favor, winning in Montreal 4-3 in a shootout on Nov. 27.