Capitals had momentum, but Canadiens escape with the points
Washington comeback attempt falls short; Montreal gets offence from unlikely sources
Canadiens goalie Peter Budaj makes against Capitals’ Jason Chimera during the first period Friday night, but was called for tripping on the play after taking Chimera down.
Photograph by: Greg Fiume, Getty Images
WASHINGTON — The Washington Capitals had some momentum coming out of the first period of Friday’s game against the Canadiens but they weren’t given a chance to take advantage of it.
The Canadiens had taken a 3-0 lead, but Alex Ovechkin scored with 23 seconds remaining to cut the lead.
“There was a momentum swing at the end of the first,” said Montreal goaltender Peter Budaj. “Instead of leading 3-0, it was 3-1, but we came out swinging in the second. We came out working hard. We didn’t make any risky plays. I don’t want to take anything away from Washington tonight, but we played a real good defensive game and we got the two points.”
The second period was crucial to the win. The Canadiens outshot the Capitals 16-3 and then weathered a strong push from the home team in the third period. Washington outshot Montreal 11-4 in the third period and received a second goal from Ovechkin, but that was after Budaj made what would prove to be a game-saving stop on a Joel Ward short-handed breakaway.
“We were pressuring them,” said Budaj, who also stopped Jason Chimera on a rebound. “They didn’t get a lot of shots and then all of a sudden they had a breakaway and I was glad I made the save.”
Budaj made at least four saves on breakaways but downplayed his performances.
“It’s hard to talk about a big save when there was another shot you should have stopped,” Budaj said.
He felt he should have stopped Ovechkin’s first goal, but there aren’t many players who could have found the far post from a sharp angle.
The Canadiens were opportunistic in the opening period as they got some scoring from unexpected sources.
“Sometimes it’s not the prettiest game but we got the greasy goals and Peter played great again,” said fourth-liner Ryan White, whose take-away in the neutral zone led to the opening goal by Travis Moen.
White’s assist was his first point of the season and Moen ended a 46-game goal drought.
“It’s always good to get points but even being plus is good,” White said. “We’re out there to provide energy and you want to be on the plus side.”
“It’s been a while since I scored, but I’ve been trying to play hard,” said Moen. “It’s good that the coach has confidence in us defensively. It’s was good to get that lead. We could have played better in the third, but Budes made the saves.”
David Desharnais scored his first goal of the season when he tipped a shot by Josh Gorges and Gorges also assisted on a power-play goal by Daniel Brière.
“It was good to get the goal, but I’ve had some chances that are not on the stat sheet,” said Desharnais, who had to wait out a video review before his goal was confirmed.
“I was a little worried,” said Desharnais, whose stick was just under the crossbar when he made contact. “The replay was pretty close, but they called it on the ice and I knew it would have to be pretty clear to overturn it.”
Andrei Markov and Gorges both had more ice time than P.K. Subban, but it wasn’t a case of the coach disrespecting his Norris Trophy winner. Subban spent five minutes in the penalty box after challenging Troy Brouwer to a fight.
“He was there to defend a hit on Andrei Markov,” said Therrien. “Markov has been very good to P.K., but I hope he doesn’t make it a habit.”
Rookie Michael Bournival picked up another assist, but he had to be helped from the ice after he was hit by a John Carlson slapshot late in the game.
“The good news is that it’s only a bruise,” said Therrien. “He earned a lot of respect from his teammates with that stop.”
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