Montreal found themselves down by a pair after the first 20 minutes on a goal by Mathieu Perrault and a power play marker from Mike Knuble.
Aside from the two goals, the Canadiens were solid against the Capitals in what showed signs of a playoff game on several occasions. RDS's Renaud Lavoie gave the Capitals a 20-15 edge in scoring chances, while the Canadiens out shot the home team 38-29.
Alex Ovechkin was kept off the score sheet, and showed his frustrations on ice after several sequences. He did deliver a big hip check to P.K. Subban, which drew an eventual retaliation call on the Habs rookie, after a little shoving and a face wash from Ovechkin. The ensuing power play was negated shortly after when Brooks Laich took a tripping call, his second of three minors on the night.
The addition of David Desharnais to the Canadiens roster has certainly given the Habs third and fourth lines the ability to maintain possession in coach Jacques Martin's "system." Desharnais was 7-3 in the face-off circle, while Jeff Halpern was 10-2.
It was nice to see Mike Cammalleri skating this week, and hopefully his recovery is a sooner than later situation. as he is desperately needed on the power play. The Canadiens wnen 0-for-6 on the night, and saw a dangerous short handed opportunity from Jason Chimera that could have sealed a win for the Capitals.
Carey Price's 25th win was his career season high, and keeps him tied for first in the NHL, but the first goal of the night was one he clearly wanted back.
Do we want Hal Gill back next season? I think so, and I suspect that Carey Price would agree as well. The veteran rearguard was singled out by RDS on the Knuble goal, but came up in the clutch during a scramble in front of the Canadiens crease.
The Canadiens return home to face the Florida Panthers Wednesday night. Yours truly is calling it a night to prep for the 20-30cm of snow expected to drop overnight, so discuss at will.
Reaction from the losing side at Japers Rink.
|02:29 WSH||Mathieu Perreault, 6 (MTL: 75 11 52 20 46 31 WSH: 23 4 26 1 85 83)|
|07:49 WSH||Mike Knuble, 12 (PP) (Mike Green, 15 Mathieu Perreault, 4) (MTL: 75 32 14 31 76 WSH: 22 25 8 52 1 85)|
|08:28 MTL||Brian Gionta, 17 (Andrei Kostitsyn, 16 James Wisniewski, 29) (MTL: 44 11 21 20 46 31 WSH: 23 4 26 1 83 90)|
|17:22 MTL||Brian Gionta, 18 (Tomas Plekanec, 25) (MTL: 44 21 14 20 31 67 WSH: 25 39 52 1 85 74)|
|00:00 MTL||Brian Gionta, 19 (MTL: 31 WSH: 1)|
THREE STARS: 1. Brian Gionta 2. Mathieu Perrault 3. James Wisniewski