The Washington Capitals beat the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 on Thursday night at the Bell Centre in Montreal. This was the only visit to Montreal for the Caps this season.
The Canadiens’ Carey Price missed this game due to a lower body injury, which has him sidelined for as many as six weeks. Mike Condon would get the start for the Habs in goal. Braden Holtby started in net for the Caps. The Capitals starting lines for the game:
Brooks Orpik made the trip to Montreal, but missed his 10th straight game due to the lower body injury he sustained in Detroit on November 10th. Stanislav Galiev and Chris Brown were the healthy scratches for this contest.
The Capitals looked fairly crisp in the early going, considering playing no games in the last four days. However, the Caps were out-skated, out-shot and outplayed for the majority of this game. Braden Holtby was sharp, and showed no signs of rust from the hiatus. The Caps would stay in this game because of Holtby and the Caps ability to kill a couple of crucial Habs power plays. The Caps were outshot 35-19. The game summary of stats can be found here: Individual player stats can be found here:
Braden Holtby showed no signs of rust following the four-day break, making several nice stops in the first period. The Capitals showed pretty aggressive offensive zone pressure, with several nice scoring chances. The first period would end with the Caps holding on to the 1-0 lead. The Habs led in shots on goal 10-6. The Caps led in blocked shots 15-4. John Carlson was credited with five of the blocked shots for the Caps.
The Capitals were under the gun early in the middle stanza, but Braden Holtby came up big with several stops. The Caps found themselves primarily in a defensive mode for the entire second period, as the Habs kept the puck in their offensive zone for a majority of the period. Holtby was getting shelled at several points, but was able to stop all of the shots. The Caps managed just one SOG in the first 10 minutes of the middle frame. Finally, the Habs would tie it up at the very end of a power play on a backhand stuff by Lars Eller at 12:08 of the period.
The Caps would regain the lead on a shot by TJ Oshie that rebounded high, off a Habs player and into the net with 43 seconds left in the second period.
The period would end with the Caps leading 2-1. The Caps were thoroughly outskated in the second period. The Habs led in SOG 27-13 for the first two periods. Braden Holtby kept the Caps in this game with great play in the middle frame.
The Capitals would regain the lead on a T.J. Oshie tip-in of a Karl Alzner shot at the 8:17 mark. Alex Ovechkin would get the other assist.
Thats how this one would end – Caps winning 3-2.