Photo: Washington Capitals
The Washington Capitals downed the Montreal Canadiens at Capital One Arena on Saturday night, moving their record through the first three games of the 2022-23 season to 1-2-0.
The Capitals started Darcy Kuemper (0-1-0, 4.15 GAA, .862 SV%) while the Habs countered with Sam Montembault (has not played this season). T.J. Oshie was moved to the second-line while second-line center Dylan Strome was moved to Head Coach Peter Laviolette’s top-line.
Alex Ovechkin-Dylan Strome-Connor Brown
Anthony Mantha-Evgeny Kuznetsov-TJ Oshie
Marcus Johansson-Lars Eller-Aliaksei Protas
Conor Sheary-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway
Martin Fehervary – John Carlson
Dmitry Orlov – Nick Jensen
Erik Gustafsson – Trevor van Riemsdyk
Montreal Head Coach Martin St. Louis announced ahead of the contest that forward Jonathan Drouin would replace Rem Pitlick in the lineup.
In addition to the above line changes, Washington also altered their power play units; the team had gone 0-9 with the man-advantage to start the season entering their game against Montreal.
Some tweaks to Capitals PP too with Strome to the half wall in place of Kuznetsov and Johansson down low.
PP1: Carlson (point), Ovechkin(left circle), Oshie (bumper), Strome (half wall), Johansson (goal line)
PP2: Orlov, Gustafsson, Brown, Kuznetsov, Mantha
— Tom Gulitti (@TomGulittiNHL) October 15, 2022
The majority of the opening frame saw no scoring, with both teams trading chances at both ends. The Canadiens saw the first power play opportunity of the game after Washington defenseman Dmitry Orlov was called for tripping.
Moments after the penalty to Orlov expired, it appeared that Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin had notched his first goal of the season after deflecting a pass from defenseman Erik Gustafsson, however a Coach’s Challenge for Offsides by Montreal resulted in the goal being overturned.
Despite some good looks for each, neither team was able to dent the twine in the first 20 minutes and entered the first intermission at 0-0 and the Caps leading in shots, 12-8.
The Habs would get on the board first on a goal by captain Nick Suzuki, who beat Kuemper with a wraparound shot; the goal was assisted by Arber Xhekaj and Cole Caufield.
Cometh the hour, cometh the captain. 👏 pic.twitter.com/klJFMmPa7M
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) October 16, 2022
The Canadiens would receive their second power play of the game on another tripping call to Washington. The Caps would kill it off, seeing a prime shorthanded chance, before getting their first of the night on a goal by Conor Sheary, who had just exited the penalty box; defensemen Nick Jensen and Trevor van Riemsdyk were credited with the assists.
That Conor Sheary statue unveiling in D.C. gonna be electric pic.twitter.com/aHDSPz9RfA
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) October 16, 2022
The home team would take the lead on a goal from Anthony Mantha, who entered the game having scored his first goal of the 2022-23 season in the team’s last contest; Evgeny Kuznetsov and T.J. Oshie recorded the assists on the goal.
Two goals in three games that’s that new DAD STRENGTH! pic.twitter.com/34VyXXwKWk
— Washington Capitals (@Capitals) October 16, 2022
Washington was given its first man-advantage of the night with 5:54 left in the second frame after Montreal was hit with a slashing minor. The Caps would notch their first power play goal of the season courtesy of Oshie, who picked up his second point of the night on assists from Alex Ovechkin and Dylan Strome.
— NBC Sports Capitals (@NBCSCapitals) October 16, 2022
The Caps failed to convert on a second power play opportunity in the closing minutes of the second period, but headed to the dressing room with a two-goal, 3-1 lead with 20 minutes left to play.
Total Shots: 26-13; the Capitals outshot Montreal 14-5 in the second frame.
The Capitals successfully staved off a power play for the Habs after Evgeny Kuznetsov was sent to the sin bin for kneeing.
The Caps failed to add an empty-net goal with Montembault pulled, ending the night with a 3-1 victory.
The Caps finished the night with 29 shots to the Habs’ 22.
Extra Notes: The game marked Darcy Kuemper’s first victory as a Capital, stopping 21 of 22 shots faced. The Caps scored on one of two power play opportunities while holding Montreal scoreless in three man-advantages.
– Box Score
– Natural Stat Trick
– Ovechkin’s 244 career Power Play Assists rank seventh in NHL history
– Anthony Mantha’s goal marked his ninth against Montreal, the most against any other opponent in his career.
By Michael Fleetwood
I feel this win is a big boost for team morale and a power-play goal is refreshing. Did anyone catch the scuffle at the end of the game?
Yes. Did not like Osh being in it. He does not need any injury.
Co-sign. He’s got one style, and I’m afraid he’s gonna go out doing it the way he does it.
K did play better than his first game. Am I correct that all of our goals (even Ovi’s) were all within a few feet of the goal?
I confess, Caps played better than I expected. Good to get the win. Sad that Ovi’s didn’t count. Bears also won.
I thought those annoying rolling adds on the boards weren’t going to be broadcast to the home crowd?
As I understand it, Home TV gets one set of ads and away TV gets another. Arena fans get the real boards. I thought that National TV got a third but didn’t see digital boards on the TNT broadcast. Or, at least I didn’t notice them.
That’s my understanding as well. The boards are available to both teams broadcast company’s for advertising. I saw adds for a visiting teams home city on a recent broadcast.
My understanding as well. I saw a game in Seattle and the visiting team was showing adds for their home city.
Bears announcers even commented in one of the games that the AHL did not have those annoying digital boards. But it seems to me that the Bears’ ads have shrunk and therefore there are more of them. Might just be my faulty memory.