Montreal Dumps Washington, 6-2; Strome Hits 20 Goals

Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals fell to the Montreal Canadiens by a score of 6-2 at Bell Centre and below .500 (34-35-9) on Thursday night. Both teams were eliminated from the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs entering the game. Goaltender Darcy Kuemper made 25 saves in the defeat.

Washington’s Lines at Montreal

Alex Ovechkin — Dylan Strome — Tom Wilson
Sonny Milano — Nicklas Backstrom — Aliaksei Protas
Conor Sheary — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Craig Smith
Nic Dowd — Nicolas Aube-Kubel

Martin Fehervary — John Carlson
Rasmus Sandin — Nick Jensen
Alexander Alexeyev — Matt Irwin

Charlie Lindgren

Injured: RW Connor Brown (ACL, 74th, indefinite); LW Carl Hagelin (hip, 78th, indefinite); RW T.J. Oshie (upper-body, second, day-to-day); D Trevor Van Riemsdyk (upper-body, second, day-to-day); LW Anthony Mantha (lower-body, first, status unknown)

Besides Mantha coming out, Washington made no line changes from their 5-2 loss to the New York Rangers on Sunday and dressed 19 skaters.

Montreal’s Lines

Rafael Harvey-Pinard — Nick Suzuki — Joel Armia
Denis Gurianov — Jonathan Drouin — Brenden Gallagher
Tyler Pitlick — Jake Evans — Mike Hoffman
Michael Pezzetta — Chris Tierney — Jesse Ylonen

Michael Matheson — Justin Barron
Corey Schueneman — Johnathan Kovacevic
Joel Edmundson — Chris Wideman

Sam Montembeault
Cayden Primeau

Scratched: C Sean Farrell, RW Alex Belzile, D Kaiden Guhle

Injured: RW Cole Caufield (shoulder, 33rd, season); RW Juraj Slafkovsky (lower-body, 36th, month-to-month); D Arber Xhekaj (undisclosed, 26th, indefinite); C Sean Monahan (groin, 54th, season); C Christian Dvorak (knee, 15th, season); LW Josh Anderson (lower-body, eighth, indefinite); C Kirby Dach (upper-body, fifth, week-to-week); D Jordan Harris (undisclosed, second, day-to-day); G Jake Allen (lower-body, fifth, indefinite)

First Period


5:30, 1-0 Washington: Strome picked the puck up at center behind Edmundson, skated ahead, looked across for a pass on the odd man rush, and called his own number, ripping a wrister to the top right corner on Montembault for his 20th of the season. Strome reached the 20-goal mark for the third time in his career (2021-22: 22, 2018-19: 20). 22 of Jensen’s 23 assists this season have come at five-on-five, the second-highest total on the team (Kuznetsov: 24). In 55 career games vs. Montreal, Ovechkin has recorded 64 points (37 goals). Ovechkin’s 64 points against the organization are the most among active players.

With 9:33 left, Wilson tussled with Pezzetta in the corner and took him down after Pezzetta ran over Dowd.


Screenshot: Natural StatTrick

Second Period


3:42, 1-1 (SHG): After Edmundson flipped a stretch pass off of the glass from the defensive zone, Suzuki found himself all alone on a breakaway, deked, and put one around the right pad of Kuemper and in.

7:52, 2-1 Montreal (SHG): Matheson got the puck at the point off of an offensive zone draw and sent the puck to Armia, who ripped it in from the slot.

9:23, 3-1: After an attempted pass by Dowd went off of the official, Drouin picked the puck up behind the net and fed Gallagher, who wristed a shot top shelf on Kuemper.

11:15, 4-1: Armia blasted a one-timer past the blocker of Kuemper from the high slot after getting fed by Matheson from the right half-wall off of the draw.


Screenshot: Natural StatTrick

Third Period


14:27, 4-2 (PPG): Backstrom finished Strome’s feed from the goal-line under the pad of Montembault all alone in front. Six of Backstrom’s seven goals this season have come on the power-play. Strome hit the 60-point plateau for the first time of his NHL career on the play. Strome’s 16 multi-point games this season rank second on Washington, trailing only Ovechkin (20). Carlson, who tallied the secondary helper, has recorded six points (five assists) in six games since returning to the Capitals’ lineup on March 23.

16:58, 5-2 (ENG): Armia banked the puck off of the wall, fought off Carlson, took it to the cage, and potted one into the goal.

19:42, 6-2: Hoffman one-timed a shot from the right dot high glove on Kuemper after getting a feed by Evans, who got the puck rimming off of the half-wall.



Current Draft Lottery Standings

Washington remain two points back of the St. Louis Blues (who have played one more game than Washington and Detroit) and three behind the Detroit Red Wings for 22nd in the NHL standings. The Vancouver Canucks, who are currently two back of Washington with a game in hand, host the Chicago Blackhawks later on Thursday.

Next game: Saturday vs. Florida Panthers (7 PM ET, NBC Sports Washington in-market, ESPN+ out-of-market)

By Harrison Brown

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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13 Responses to Montreal Dumps Washington, 6-2; Strome Hits 20 Goals

  1. novafyre says:

    Cats are beating Sens right now 7-1 with 8min left in third. I don’t see Caps winning Saturday.

    • Harrison Brown says:

      Fine by me, we need to lose out

      • KimRB says:

        Currently, we’re tied for 8th worst in the league, with Vancouver, and we “lose” the tiebreaker, so we have 5% of winning the lottery, and getting first overall. If we leapfrog the ‘Nucks, we’ll have a 6% chance, and if we jump over Philly, it’ll be 6.5%. We can finish no worse than 7th. Doesn’t sound like much, but better odds than winning Powerball.

  2. GRin430 says:

    One of the best losses of the year. Lost the game they had the best chance to win out of the last 5 of the season, meaning they have a very high probability of finishing with the same 77 points they currently have. If Vancouver can just win one of their remaining games the Caps would likely end up picking no worse than 8th. And they’d have a whole 6% chance of picking first. Okay, that’s not such a great probability… can the Caps go back and appeal some of their December wins, as being unrepresentative of their actual team capabilities?

    What made this particular loss so great was the (low) quality of the opposition and the 2 shorties against! Montreal hadn’t scored a goal in about a week and yet they got 6 tonight. And how much more pathetic can Coach Forsythe’s power play get? Yeah, they got a garbage-time PP goal, but anybody watching that power play has to see that the Caps had no answer for the Habs simply shadowing Ovechkin.

    Just awful. Which is actually just great! Tank for Bedard!!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I was actually expecting that loss given the circumstances. We’re up to the depression stage of the 5 Stages of Grief of missing the playoffs. On the plus side they’re already through denial, anger and bargaining. Maybe aim for acceptance for Saturday?

      • Diane Doyle says:

        It turns out I have trouble reaching the Acceptance Phase in the 5 Stages of Grief in missing the playoffs. I thought I was starting to accept that fact but then that loss to Columbus happened and I got angry afterwards.

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

  4. Diane Doyle says:

    Horrible loss to a bad team, especially giving up not just one shortie but TWO shorties.

    In any case, time to dump Forsythe after the season. We need a new voice for the power play.

  5. Diane Doyle says:

    Great milestone for Strome

  6. JumpJet says:

    Coasting into the summer…no need to expend energy and risk injury. Rebuild and get rid of the sick, lame, and lazy. Oshie seems to be fragile, and Mantha just a skater. Get some more red meat hockey players!

  7. KimRB says:

    I can hear Wes Montgomery now,

    And for Washington, Number 98, Connor Bedard!

  8. KimRB says:

    To the Beatles’ I’m a Loser:

    We are losers! We are losers!
    And we are not what we appear to be
    Of all the games we have won and have lost
    There is one team we should never have crossed
    The Habs had not scored in a just about a week
    The Caps performance was one that sure reeked

  9. Anonymous says:

    Dump is right

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