Habs Down Caps 2-1, End Caps Win Streak at 6 Games

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The Capitals fell to the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 Saturday night at Verizon Center. The loss dropped the Capitals record to 19-8-3. The Capitals next travel to Philadelphia to play the Flyers Wednesday night at Wells Fargo Center. Puck drop is 8:00PM. 

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Braden Holtby got the start in goal for the Capitals. Carey Price, who started Friday night in Montreal against the Sharks, but was pulled mid-game, got the start for the Canadiens.

Zach Sanford, recalled from Hershey this morning, made his first appearance since being sent down on November 30th.

Andre Burakovsky was a healthy scratch, missing his third straight game. Brett Connolly and Taylor Chorney were the healthy scratches as well.

QUICK TAKES

  • The Caps showed good pressure in the early going, limiting the Habs to just one shot on goal through the first 14 minutes of play.
  • After a fast start, the Habs gained control of the game late in the first and middle of the second periods.
  • The Caps were flat for most of the third period, not registering a shot on goal until the 13:00 mark of the final frame.

FIRST PERIOD
Caps got off to a solid start, as Jakub Vrana demonstrated his skate speed for two nice chances in the first three minutes of play. The Caps held the early offensive advantage in the first five minutes of play. The Capitals would be awarded the first power play of the game at the 7:00 mark of the opening frame. The power play was a bit disjointed, managing just a single shot from the point, with no damage done.

The Capitals extended offensive zone time, and good defense at the neutral zone and on the back-end made things rather quiet for Holtby in the early going, as Holtby faced just one shot through the first 14 minutes of play, but it would be the Canadiens that would open up the scoring. Artturi Lehkonen would score on a wrap around at the 14:41 mark of the opening frame.

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The first period would end with the Canadiens leading 1-0. The Caps led in shots on goal 8-5 after one period of play.

SECOND PERIOD
The Caps returned to the power play just 23 seconds into the middle frame. Much like the Caps first man-advantage, their second power play was basically squandered, riddled with off-sides calls and disjointed zone entries, managing just one shot on goal for the man advantage. The Habs started to gain some momentum, leveling out the offensive zone and shots on goal at the midway point of the middle frame.

The Habs would get their first power play of the game when Justin Williams was called for roughing at the 8:05 mark, but the Caps penalty kill would stifle Montreal, allowing 0 shots on the Habs man advantage. The Caps would go on their third power play of the game when the Habs were called for hooking at the 13:35 mark of the middle frame. The Habs would also be called for hooking just 32 seconds into the power playing, giving the Caps a 5-on-3 for 1:28. Nine seconds later Nicklas Backstrom would tie the game.

The Habs would regain the lead on a redirection of a Max Pacioretty pass by Jeff Petry at 16:39 of the second period, giving the Habs a 2-1 lead.

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The period would end with the Habs holding on to a 2-1 lead. The Habs led in shots on goal 19-16 through two periods of play.

THIRD PERIOD
The Habs stifled the Caps to start third period, as the Caps had 0 shots on goal through the first 13 minutes of the final frame. Daniel Winnik would blast one off the cross-bar with 4 minutes left in the game, but to no avail, as the Habs would hold on for the 2-1 win.

By Jon Sorensen

SCENES FROM VERIZON CENTER

About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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