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Canadiens vs Capitals Recap: The Eller-Galchenyuk-Semin line continues to look great

By preseason standards, it was a very exciting game

Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

The Canadiens hit the ice for their second preseason game, facing Alex Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals.

First off, let's take a moment to remember this is just preseason, and we really shouldn't be panicking about what goes on during play. The roster is incomplete, and players have little-to-no chemistry with their new linemates.

Essentially, the final results in preseason don't matter.

The game started on an encouraging note, especially when it came to the newly-minted Lars Eller - Alex Galchenyuk - Alexander Semin line. They immediately created a pair of scoring chances, although they were on the wrong side of an early goal against by Andre Burakovsky. Their defensive zone coverage wasn't great, but the chemistry they displayed in the offensive zone was downright impressive.

T.J. Oshie followed up Burakovsky's goal with a strong individual effort, blowing past his coverage to beat Tokarski with a blistering shot.

The lead lasted for exactly 12 seconds. Dale Weise found a streaking Tomas Fleischmann, who made no mistake putting the puck behind Braden Holtby. Fleischmann looked good all game, but we'll get back to him later.

A few minutes later Galchenyuk took matters into his own hands, by stripping the puck from John Carlson, and sneaking a puck through Holtby to tie the game at 2.

After an absolutely ridiculous powerplay goal by the Capitals, the Habs created a powerplay goal of their own, as David Desharnais worked hard to pounce on his own rebound.

The game went to a shootout, with all three Habs' shooters failing in their attempts. In the end, the Capitals won 4-3, with Oshie being the only player to score. It was a deserved win for the Capitals, seeing as the Habs were soundly outplayed for the majority of the game.

The lowdown
  • Jarred Tinordi didn't look great, there's no denying it, but it's probably time for media and fans alike to give him some breathing room. He's going to make mistakes, and he needs to learn how to recover from them at an NHL level. That's exactly what preseason is for.
  • Mike Condon presents a legitimate threat to Dustin Tokarski's role as Montreal's backup. I wouldn't be surprised if the Habs give Condon a long look throughout the preseason. Of course, in the long run it doesn't really matter who plays behind Carey Price.
  • Eller was used during the powerplay, and provided a net presence that the Canadiens haven't had at their disposition for years. It'll be interesting to see if he continues to get powerplay opportunities as the regular season moves closer.
  • The Habs have to sign Fleischmann. Well, they don't have to, but they probably should. He's a better player than almost everyone else slated to play a bottom-six role this season, and there's a possibility that he's willing to sign a very reasonable contract. He could provide a very reliable option on the third line.
  • Nathan Beaulieu is clearly coming into his own. Every game he plays he seems to gain confidence. A breakout season could be in the cards for this mobile defenceman.
  • Michel Therrien should get some credit for uniting Eller, Galchenyuk, and Semin. Their offensive potential is through the roof, and it seems as if they've been playing together for years now.
  • Semin skating around with a stick stuck in his jersey was pretty fun to watch, especially since he didn't notice it for the majority of his shift. Take a look.
The Habs are back in action tonight, as they face the Chicago Blackhawks at the Bell Centre. Puck drop is at 7:30 PM EST.