Canadiens Outlast Capitals, 6-4; Eller and Ovechkin Each Notch Two-Goal Games

canadiensPhoto: @Capitals

The Washington Capitals fell to the Montreal Canadiens by a final score of 6-4 at Bell Centre on Thursday night despite leading 4-3 in the final five minutes of the game. The Capitals ended their Canadian road trip with a 2-2-0 record. Goaltender Braden Holtby made 38 saves against the Canadiens. 

Capitals Lineup at Canadiens

The Capitals made no line changes except defenseman Madison Bowey drew in for Brooks Orpik, who missed the game with a lower-body injury. He is considered day-to-day. Holtby entered this game with a .944 career save percentage and a 1.57 GAA in 15 games against the Canadiens in his career, his best numbers against an individual franchise. Holtby had a career record of 11-1-2 against Montreal entering the game.

First Period

Center Jesperi Kotkaniemi sniped a shot past Holtby 2:28 into the game going blocker side down the wing after receiving a pass from Joel Armia entering the offensive zone. Montreal struck first on the first career NHL goal for the 2018 third overall pick.

Lars Eller tied it on a bounce off of a Canadiens defenseman’s skate after Matt Niskanen drove it on net from the point. Eller scored his second of the season against his former team 6:16 into the game.

The Capitals led 9-5 in blocked shots, 12-10 in hits, and 6-3 in takeaways in the period.

The Canadiens led 19-13 in shots and had three giveaways while the Capitals had seven.

The faceoffs were split in the first period. Neither team had a power play through 20 minutes.

Second Period

Brendan Gallagher made it 2-1 Canadiens 32 seconds into the period after Tomas Tatar got the puck and put it in front of the goal for Gallagher to tap it in on the doorstep.

Gallagher made it 3-1 less than three minutes later picking up a rebound off of the boards and putting it through Holtby’s pads in front of the net.

Alex Ovechkin buried a pass from Evgeny Kuznetsov on a 2-on-1 rush for his ninth goal of the season. Ovechkin went under the arm of Carey Price to make it 3-2 6:49 into the period.

Eller scored again a little more than two minutes later with a dart from the left circle after getting it from Brett Connolly. The scorching shot beat Price to tie the game at three.

Ovechkin tipped in Dmitry Orlov’s shot from the point in front of the net and bounced past Price’s glove with 7:07 left in the period for the Capitals’ third goal in around six minutes and Ovechkin’s 10th goal of the season.

Michal Kempny blocked a shot with his face preventing forward Tomas Tatar of a wide open net on a Canadiens power play near the end of the period.

The Capitals led 13-8 in second-period shots, 15-11 in blocked shots, and 10-6 in takeaways. Washington won 56% of the faceoffs through two periods of play.

The Canadiens led 27-26 in shots and 21-16 in hits. The Canadiens went 0-for-1 on the power play through two periods of play.

Third Period

Holtby denied Max Domi of a wide open net with his pad not once, but twice eight minutes into the frame to preserve a 4-3 lead.

Kotkaniemi tied it with 3:04 left in the crease for his second of the night.

Domi beat Holtby high glove side with 21.1 seconds to go on the rush.

Joel Armia made it 6-4 with an empty net goal off of the faceoff two seconds later.

The Capitals led 22-18 in blocked shots and 13-7 in takeaways. Washington won 61% of the faceoffs. The Capitals went 0-for-1 on the power play.

The Canadiens led 44-31 in shots, including 17-5 in the third period, and 32-25 in hits. The Canadiens went 0-for-2 on the power play.

Each team had 11 giveaways.

The Capitals start a five-game homestand against the Dallas Stars on Saturday night. The game will be televised on NBC Sports Washington starting at 7 PM.

By Harrison Brown

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About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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8 Responses to Canadiens Outlast Capitals, 6-4; Eller and Ovechkin Each Notch Two-Goal Games

  1. J says:

    Embarrassing, disgusting loss. Had 2 points cant even manage 1 point. Horrible game mismanagement last few minutes. Turnovers, got into firewagon hockey instead of slowing the game down a bit and playing more defensive. I blame Reirden directly too for not using his timeout after they knotted it up at 4. Change the momentum, get the team reorganized defensively, slow the game down, get to OT and secure the point, maybe 2 atleast. But no.. he let the game slip through their hands.

    Also side note, Its obvious Habs are a teams on the rise with Domi,Kotiniemi, Tatar and all that speed etc. Caps still shouldve won but Habs may who knows come spring be 8th seed, WC Team

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  3. Pingback: Capitals at Canadiens – Inside the Numbers: A Third Period Collapse In Montreal | NoVa Caps

  4. Diane Doyle says:

    Horrible horrible game. Team just stopped playing. And had a lapse in the 2nd period. Team basically needs to scored at least 6 goals to win since the defense (and goaltending) is no more. It reminds me of a game they played against Montreal in 2009 that they lost in regulation at the very end due to a bad turnover. it was a also a day when my younger daughter had some flu symptoms that wouldn’t go away and we ended up in the emergency room that night. (That was then not now but that’s the kind of day it was.)

    Next question — when will Vanacek or Samsonov be ready for the NHL? (Come back, Holts, although I know it’s not all your fault.) We have turned into the Dallas Stars.

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