Caps vs Habs: Game Recap & Analysis

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Photo: NHL

The Caps fell behind early and a multitude of penalties cost the Capitals in a 5-2 loss to the Montreal Canadiens. NoVa Caps recaps the Capitals vs Canadiens showdown.

1st Period: The first period saw the Caps dig themselves a hole with a trio of penalties that enabled the Canadiens to take a 2-0 lead early on after they converted on two. A goaltender interference by left wing Liam O’Brien led to a tip-in goal by Russian playmaker Alexander Radulov off a slapshot by Greg Pateryn. A hooking call on Travis Boyd gave way to a Nathan Bealieu goal. Defenseman Darren Dietz committed a hold, which the Caps were able to kill off into the second period.

Other than their somewhat lack of discipline, the Caps offensive attack was quiet. They were unable to convert on their own two power plays and aside from an odd-man rush midway through the period, the Capitals did not put a lot of pressure on Habs goalie Al Montoya, registering only four shots to Montreal’s 10.

2nd Period: The Capitals’ lack of discipline continued in the second period, as they committed four more penalties (a roughing by Brett Connolly, a roughing by Dietz, and an unsportsmanlike conduct on Nathan Walker, and a tripping call on Zach Sanford).

Offensively, the Capitals finally got on the scoresheet with a goal from Marcus Johansson, but were unable to capitalize on their third power play. Montreal’s Paul Byron scored just 11 seconds later to put the Habs up 3-1. Torrey Mitchell scored with just a few minutes left in the period to give the Canadiens a commanding three-goal lead. The Caps added only five more shots and had an excellent chance to get back in the game after Montreal’s Andrew Shaw received a five-minute major for boarding Caps defenseman Connor Hobbs, but a tripping penalty committed by Zach Sanford ended the extended power play to make it a 4-on-4 until the tripping minor expired.

3rd Period: The Caps failed to strike on the more than one minute power play and were hit with an unsportsmanlike conduct call on O’Brien less than five minutes into the period. The Canadiens added another Torrey Mitchell goal to make it 5-1. Zach Sanford scored to cut the deficit to three, but it was too late. The Caps lost 5-2.

Overall, the Caps looked flat, unable to get any solid offensive chances. Goaltender Vitek Vanacek struggled at times, but otherwise looked good. While the preseason is nothing to go by, it’s going to be interesting to see how Associate coach Todd Reirden addresses the lack of discipline.

Caps Goals Scored By: Zach Sanford, Marcus Johansson

Getting Tough: Forward Nathan Walker looked as though he wanted to drop the gloves in yesterday’s game, as he was all over the ice delivering hits. After teammate Connor Hobbs was boarded by Montreal’s Andrew Shaw, Walker stepped right up to defend his teammate:

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Getting Pressure: The Caps only managed just 19 shots to the Canadien’s 29. The team had trouble getting any steady offensive pressure on the Habs’ goaltenders.

The Caps next preseason action is Saturday, October 1 against the New York Islanders. The game will be broadcast on Comcast Sportsnet.

 

By Michael Fleetwood

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About Michael Fleetwood

Michael Fleetwood was born into a family of diehard Capitals fans and has been watching games as long as he can remember. He was born the year the Capitals went to their first Stanley Cup Final, and is a diehard Caps fan, the owner of the very FIRST Joe Beninati jersey and since then, has met Joe himself. His favorite player became former Capital Nate Schmidt after he met Schmidt in a Hershey hotel while in Hershey PA to see the Bears play, shortly after Schmidt was injured during a conditioning stint. Michael is also a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Orioles, and enjoys photography, watching WildEarth TV's SafariLive live safaris, and watching animals in his spare time. (Photo by Adam Vingan in 2014 at the Capitals Development Camp).
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