The Canadiens scored four unanswered goals in the second period, two of them on their power play, en route to a 4-1 win over the Capitals Thursday night in Washington. Another dominant game from Andrei Markov who scored a goal and an assist. Tomas Plekanec, Brian Gionta and Josh Gorges also scored for the Canadiens. Joey Crabb ruined Carey Price’s bid for a shutout with 2:23 left in the game.The Capitals outshot the Canadiens 31-22.
The three stars were Price, Markov and Max Pacioretty.
Adding It Up –
Writing on the Wall – The Canadiens went on the power play 33 seconds into the game when Mathieu Perreault was sent off for tripping. The Canadiens didn’t score but sent a message with five shots on goal.
Capitalizing – In the second period, Andrei Markov joined in a rush and Alex Ovechkin pulled him down. Twenty-five seconds later Troy Brouwer cleared the puck over the glass. With a two man advantage, Markov sent a perfect touch pass over to Tomas Plekanec who buried it on a one-timer and the Canadiens had the lead.
Piling On – 45 seconds after the Plekanec goal, Matt Hendricks was whistled for goaltender interference and it was Markov again, this time pinching in take Max Pacioretty’s pass skate to stick and in the goal. Add Rene Bourque outracing the defence and setting up Brian Gionta in front. Three goals on five shots in the span of 4:52. Add Josh Gorges first goal in 44 games late in the period and it was lights out for the Capitals who had a six game winning streak going against the Canadiens going into the game.
Sound Familiar? – Raphael Diaz left Switzerland as the highest scoring defenceman in the SNL. With two more assists, he now shares the scoring lead among NHL defencemen with five points. With Diaz and Markov on the points, the Canadiens power play which was 28th in the league last season, has taken on a whole new look. Markov has 3 goals and 1 assist in three games.
The First Star -Carey Price is in one of his zones. He’s had more difficult nights but he was still on top of his game. He has stopped 77 of 81 shots through three games for a .953 save percentage. The goals against average is 1.34.
Meaningless Stat of the Night – In the third period the Capitals outshot the Canadiens 11-2 and 31-22 in the game.
The Kid III – Not much seen of either Galchenyuk early in the game. He got only four shifts and 1;54 in the first period. but Michel Therrien found him in the second period and especially in the third when he gave Galchenyuk the lion’s share of the power play time. Only one shot on goal.
Setting the Tone – The Canadiens outhit the Capitals 13-6 in the scoreless first period. Led by Alexei Emelin, they have recorded 82 hits in three games. Emelin has 18 of them.
Spinning Their Wheels – While Max Pacioretty had two points for the second straight game, linemates Erik Cole and David Desharnais have yet to find their way. In three games Cole and Desharnais have totaled two shots on goal each. Pacioretty now has four assists and ten shots on gal.
Special Teams – The Canadiens are already plus-3 on special teams. Five power play goals versus two goals scored while shorthanded. The power play is operating a 29.4%, the penalty killers at 82.4%.
Next Up – New Jersey at the Bell Centre Sunday at 6:05pm.