The Washington Capitals were back out on the road again Thursday evening for their third game in four nights, this time north of the border in Montreal. This was the Capitals third of seven games slated for the pre-season. The Capitals brought a lineup similar to Monday nights opener against the Carolina Hurricanes, but with a little more punch.
Thursday night’s lineup may resemble the top six forwards that are in the lineup on opening night on October 10th, (should Nicklas Backstrom not be ready for the start of the season).
Thursday night’s lineup also included some potential roster and position battles with Chandler Stephenson and Derek Roy at the Center position, and Ryan Stanton and Taylor Chorney on the defensive lines (7D). Stanislav Galiev, Sean Collins and Chris Brown could be battling for a Forward depth position as well. Braden Holtby got the start in goal, with Dan Ellis coming in for relief. Tom Wilson and Nate Schmidt were the healthy scratches.
A quick start for the Caps as T.J. Oshie had a great chance in the first 30 seconds, but the Habs Dustin Tokarski made the nice stop. Andre Burakovsky wouldn’t be denied on the Capitals next chance, scoring 1:55 into the game. Jason Chimera and Justin Williams got the assists.
The Capitals continued to show good defense and offensive push, getting the puck into the Habs end with potential chances. Connor Carrick had a good shot that was deflected by Tokarski’s pad. T.J. Oshie finally lit the lamp, with an assist from Connor Carrick and Jonas Siegenthaler, giving the Caps a 2-0 lead.
However, the Habs responded in less than a minute later, as former Capital Thomas Fleischmann beat Holtby stick side, making it 2-1. This was the Habs 2nd SOG of the game. At the 2:30 mark, John Carlson turned the puck over in the defensive zone, which led to the Candiens’ Galchenyuk scoring the tying goal. Jason Chimera was called for interference with 40 seconds left in the period, giving the Habs the games first power play. The Habs were unable to convert, as the first period ended in a 2-2 tie. The Capitals led with 15-3 in shots on net and 21-9 in shot attempts in the first. Caps 9 of 21 on face-offs.
The second period was Penalty-palooza. The period started with 1:21 remaining on the Chimera penalty, however P.K. Subban was called for holding at the 19:35 mark. Andre Burakovsky was called for holding, negating the mini-Capitals power play at the end of the Subban penalty. The Habs were unable to convert on the remaining portion of the powerplay. The Habs Brian Flynn was called for slashing at he 15:54 mark, returning the Caps to the power play. The Caps got decent pressure on the powerplay, but were unable to convert. Caps went back on the power play at the 12:10 mark, on a cross checking penalty on Alexander Semin. T.J. Oshie and Michael McCarron were called for roughing at the 11:40 mark. Caps had a 4-on-3 for 1:15. Alexander Ovechkin cashed in quickly at the 11:11 mark. Chris Brown and Michael McCarron got into a tussle towards the end of the period, both getting 5 minutes.
Another penalty was immediately called, this time on the Capitals Derek Roy, but the Caps were able to kill the penalty. Andre Burakovsky was called for his second penalty at the 6:20 mark. The Canadiens David Desharnais tied it up a few seconds later, 3-3 at the 5:46 mark. The period ended knotted at 3-3. The game had 11 minors, two majors and a misconduct in last 20:40 of play. The Capitals won 20 of 46 face-offs. Derek Roy has won 7 of 10. Andre Burakovsky has lost 7 of 9.
Dan Ellis took over goal tending duties in the third period. Play settled down a bit, with end-to-end action. The Capitals got a few more shots on goal, but to no avail. Dan Ellis made a nice save on a Habs break away. The penalty calls returned as Derek Roy was called for tripping at 6:51 of third. The Capitals were unsuccessful in the PK. Orlov had a gorgeous pass to Chimera late in the third. The Capitals went of the power play at the 6:14 mark, but were unable to convert. The period ended in a 3-3 tie.
Although not slated to be a 3-on-3 overtime test game, this one would go to a 3-on-3 based on the score at the end of regulation. Trotz started with three forwards for the first line out, but reverted to two forwards and one defensman (Ovi, Oshie and Carrick) for the follow-up line. A holding penalty was called on the Habs with 2:40 left in OT ended 3-on-3 play. This gave the Caps an additional player, to make it 4 on 3. No score in the overtime. In the shootout, Ellis denied the Habs first shot. Oshie would convert on the Caps first attempt. Ellis would deny the Habs on their second attempt. Kuznetsov was stopped on the Caps second attempt. Ellis stopped Flynn on the Habs 3rd attempt for the Caps win.
Our first look at the top-six was not disappointing. Looked pretty good. Dan Ellis had another good game. Connor Carrick redeemed himself tonight after Mondays less than stellar performance. Derek Roy had another good game as well. Both Dmitri Orlov and Jonas Siegenthaler had good games on the defensive end. Andre Burakovsky did not have a good night with face-offs.
And to close, more footage of Alexander Semin playing an entire shift with a stick stuck to his side.