A wild one in Montreal on Monday night. The Capitals battled back to tie the game and send it to overtime, where Lars Eller answered 21,000 boo birds with the game winning score. Our complete game recap can be found here. The Caps are back in action Wednesday night when they return home to host the Chicago Blackhawks at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is 7PM ET.
With Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie still mending “upper body injuries”, the Capitals lineup was another makeshift edition. Reirden returned to similar lines he successfully deployed the previous game in Colorado. Lars Eller centered the top line with Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson. Jakub Vrana, Nicklas Backstrom and Andre Burakovsky made-up the second line. Chandler Stephenson, Travis Boyd and Devante Smith-Pelly were on the third line with Dmitrij Jaskin, Nic Dowd and Brett Connolly on the fourth line. The only changes from the Colorado game were Smith-Pelly and Brett Connolly flipping lines.
The Canadiens opening the scoring midway through the first period following a breakdown in the Capitals defensive zone, but the Capitals responded with goals from Brett Connolly and Alex Ovechkin to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission. The Canadiens scored three goals in the first 1:35 of the middle frame to take a 4-2 lead. As a result, Pheonix Copley was replaced by Braden Holtby. Nicklas Backstrom would cut the Habs lead to one just before the end of the second period for a 4-3 game at the second intermission. The Caps quickly tied the game early in the final frame with a power play goal from Alex Ovechkin. Lars Eller would win it in overtime.
SHOT ATTEMPTS (POSSESSION)
The Canadiens lead 25-18 in shot attempts and 18-8 in shots on goal (SOG), but the Capitals led 2-1 after one period of play. The Canadiens led 4-3 after two periods. They led 16-11 in SOG in the second period, but the Capitals out-attempted the Habs 16-14 for the middle frame. The Capitals out-attempted the Canadiens 17-14 and led in SOG 14-7 in the final frame. Regulation would end 4-4, with Lars Eller winning it in overtime.
SHOT ATTEMPTS (DIFFERENTIAL)
SHOT ATTEMPTS (LOCATIONS)
Pheonix Copley started his fourth consecutive game. He would be replaced by Braden Holtby early in the second period after giving up the three quick goals. Copley gave up four goals on 22 shots in 21:35 of time on ice (TOI). Holtby would be perfect in relief, stopping 22 of 22 shots faced. Carey Price stopped 29 of 34 for a .853 save percentage.
Capitals on the Power Play
The Capitals power play has cooled-off over the past several game. The Capitals power play was ranked 5th in the league at 29.0% entering the game. The Canadiens had the league’s 13th best penalty kill at 80.9%. The Capitals would go 1 for 2 on the power play for the game.
Capitals on the Penalty Kill
The Capitals penalty has shown signs of i,proving over the last few games. The return of Tom Wilson (and eventually Brooks Orpik) will also help improve the PK’s efficiency. The Capitals entered the contest with the league’s 29th rank penalty kill at 73.2%. The Canadiens entered the game with the league’s 29th ranked power play at 13.5%. The Canadiens would go 1 for 4 on the power play in this game.
The Capitals individual faceoff stats heading into this contest:
The Capitals would edge the Canadiens in the faceoff battle, winning 38 of 74 for a 51% winning percentage. Brett Connolly was 0 for 1, Jakub Vrana was 1 for 2, Chandler Stephenson was 1 for 3, Nicklas Backstrom was 14 of 25, Lars Eller was 11 of 20, Nic Dowd was 3 of 6, Tom Wilson was 3 of 4, Andre Burakovsky was 0 for 1 and Travis Boyd was 5 of 12.