The Washington Capitals scored two quick goals in the second period to assist a 3-2 come-from-behind win over the Canadiens Tuesday night at the Bell Centre. The Capitals Alex Ovechkin and Eric Fehr scored goals 1:46 apart and Jack Hillen scorfed the eventual game winner early in the third period. Lars Eller’s second goal of the game narrowed the scored to 3-2 but the Canadiens couldn’t get the equalizer. The Canadiens outshot the Senators 29-27. The three stars were Ovechkin, Eller and Washington goaltender Michal Neuvirth.
Adding It Up –
Under Fire – Carey Price faced seven Washington shots in the game’s first 2:35. Six of them were A-1 scoring chances. Niklas Backstrom started it was a close in shot followed by his own rebound. Eric Fehr a minute later with his own rebound and then it was Jay Beagle with Aaron Volpatti on the rebound. 5:35 into the game, shots on goal were 9-0 and the game was still scoreless.
Turning it Around – The Canadiens got their first shot on goal at 6:35 and for the next seventeen minutes they dominated the Capitals territorially and 15-3 in shots on goal. And they took a 1-0 lead.
Has It Figured Out – Alex Galchenyuk was a dominant figure for the fourth straight game. His move at the blueline set in motion the sequence that led to the game’s first goal. After shedding the check he sent the puck to Prust behind the net who put in front for Lars Eller. First goal home ice goal against the Capitals in 232:16, the equivalent of four games.
Ovechkin – There’s a reason he has been one of the most feared goalscorers in the game. 7 minutes into the second period, cutting across near the blue line, he put the puck between Michael Ryder’s legs got it back and in one motion sent a knuckleball that dipped under Price’s glove to tie the game. That’s six goals his last three games and the league lead with 26.
No Luck At All – Carey Price overcame everything but Ovechkin and Lady Luck in this game. 2:16 later Jack Hillen shot from the boards. His shot was tipped by Eric Fehr hitting Price and bouncing high over his shoulder. Andrei Markov, protecting the goalmouth put it in his own net. Five minutes into the third with Ovechkin and Gorges completely screening Price out, Hillen scored to make it 3-1.
Quote of the Night – “Goals” Lars Eller when asked what he expected when Michel Therrien replace Brandon Prust with Michael Ryder midway through the third period.
The Result – On their their third shift together, the line narrowed the score to 3-2 with Eller tipping Nathan Beaulieu’s shot past Michal Neuvirth a play started by Galchenyuk.
At the Wire – With the goaltender out, Tomas Plekanec had the best chance to tie with two seconds left in regulation but was stopped by Neuwirth. Game over.
Additonal Thoughts -
Not At Their Best - It was an uneven performance for the Canadiens. Good at times, not so good at others. Early in the game they weren’t helping Price with the rebounds. Later in the game they weren’t going after rebounds at the other end of the ice.
Stealing a Page – Usually it’s the Canadiens who own the shotblocking column. In this game Washington blocked 34 shots to the Canadiens 10. Fourteen of those blocked shots came in the third period after the Capitals took a 3-1 lead.
In Need of Answers – Max Pacioretty continues to go unrewarded for his effort. Once again he led both teams with five shots on goal. He took a total of 14 in the game. Seven were blocked.
There’s No Explaining – For some reason the Capitals have had the Canadiens number over the last four years. In the last 16 regular season meetings Washington’s record is 12-3-2 and 6-0-1 their last seven trips to the Bell Centre. After twelve games, the Canadiens are finally beaten by a Southeast Division team.
Moving On – The Canadiens are still ahead of the Bruins by a point, but Boston has a game in hand again. Next game for the Habs in Buffalo Thursday and then to Toronto Saturday night. Six of the season’s final nine games are on the road.