Sometimes, a few moments of greatness in an anotherwise forgettable outing is what it takes to win a hockey game. Such was the case last night when the Canadiens came to Verizon Center.
The Habs have struggled lately. Their power play has been anemic, converting only three goals in 26 opportunities in the last 7 games. Alex Kovalev, MVP of the All Star Game, wasn't allowed to make the road trip with the Canadiens, as the team hopes sitting out the games against Washington and Pittsburgh will help him break out of his current slump.
It was a very physical matchup, with the Canadiens delivering 20 hits and the Caps, 19. The Habs took advantage of the Caps' penalties to revive their power play, scoring three power play goals. The Caps put up three markers of their own, each one worthy of highlight reel. The first, by Alex Ovechkin, is the talk of the town, with a move only Ovi could pull off. The second, from Nicklas Backstrom, came off a beautiful give-and-go with Sergei Federov. The third, with just over two minutes left in the third, came courtesy of a David Steckel deflection off a shot from Tom Poti after Steckel won the face-off. Regulation ended with the score tied at 3-3, and both teams were held scoreless in overtime. Off to the shootout!
Fortunately for the Caps, Alexander Semin was back in this game and took the first puck in the shootout, scoring a goal on Carey Price. Backstrom followed and also scored. Jose' Theodore held the Habs scoreless in the shootout, leading to a Caps victory. Final score: Caps 4, Canadiens 3.
Next game: Capitals Vs. Colorado Avalanche on Friday, February 20 at 7 p.m.