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Canadiens vs. Capitals Top Six Minutes: Habs can’t control the Capitals

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Third period pressure not enough to beat the Caps

NHL: Washington Capitals at Montreal Canadiens Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

For our new readers and members, the Top Six Minutes is a continuation of the discussion in the game thread. We try to keep it light and entertaining. Full recaps are up the morning after every game.

The Montreal Canadiens played the first of their Super Bowl back-to-backs on Saturday afternoon, taking on the top team in the NHL.

Before the game versus the Washington Capitals, it was announced that David Desharnais would be a healthy scratch, with Sven Andrighetto taking his spot, and Jacob de la Rose was in the lineup for a second game in a row.

First period

  • The Habs come out with some good jump, and get the first shots on net.
  • Nathan Beaulieu believes for a moment that he’s just as good of a goaltender as Carey Price, and ends up screening the man himself on the Capitals’ first shot. Predictably, it’s a 1-0 lead for the visitors early.
  • Play was stopped for several minutes as workers attended to a broken rim board. That brought out the creativity of the afternoon digital artists:
  • To the crew’s credit, they took the time to find a permanent solution, and the game resumed without the threat of a recurring issue.
  • It seems like Alexander Radulov’s play style is rubbing off on Max Pacioretty. The captain skates the puck into the zone on his next shift for a controlled zone entry of his own.
  • Perhaps the reverse is also true, as Radulov walks into the slot and snipes one past Holtby to tie the game.
  • The Capitals get a power play from a Tomas Plekanec penalty, sending the Habs to the penalty kill. A more aggressive approach to the man disadvantage means the best chances go to Montreal, with Pacioretty and Paul Byron just failing to get away from the Caps’ defence for breakaway chances.
  • A too many men penalty put the Habs down with a few seconds left, forcing them to do it all over again, but once again the penalty-killers came through.
  • A major reason for that was Andrei Markov, whose calm demeanour and exceptional positioning was a welcome addition to a PK that had struggled in his absence.

Second period

  • Paul Byron jumps on the ice for the line change and, just to make it interesting, tries to block the puck with an upside down stick.
  • Price with a Price-like save! Gotta love it. I mean, it’s physically impossible not to.
  • Habs head to a power-play and can’t even register a shot on goal. Come on fellas. This is Washington. Time to up your game.
  • A rare turnover by Galchenyuk. And not just a turnover, a bad one that causes all forwards to get caught deep, allowing Andre Burakovsky to go top shelf on Price and take the lead.
  • Seriously guys...we’ve got a Price verses Holtby game here. Focus.
  • Radulov show sweet patience to score a sweet goal to tie it up.
  • Wait...wait...Pacioretty with goalie interference? Yep. That one’s getting called back since he pretty much landed on Holtby’s shoulder. Even though he was outside the crease.
  • And we’re back to 2-1 for the Caps.
  • Just do it again Radulov. But not you Pacioretty. You get too excited.
  • Radulov gets loose with the puck and beelines for the Caps net. Holtby has no fear, challenging him and jumping on the puck.
  • Ovi hits the post! A little too close for comfort.
  • Four minutes left and the Habs are piling the pressure on Holtby. It seems you’re fueling him. Maybe taking him by surprise is a better idea.

Third period

  • Let’s try this again. This time when a player wearing red scores, nobody jump on the goaltender.
  • Hey Chucky, it’s the final period. Feel free to find your awesomness and let it shine.
  • Holtby is unbeaten in regulation at the Bell Centre, hey? Challenge accepted!
  • Radulov heads to the box for a hook on Ovechkin. I don’t have a good feeling about this. I mean, all kinds of faith in Price of course, but maybe not everyone else. Yes, I’m bias. This should come as no surprise.
  • Gut feeling confirmed. Nicklas Backstrom gets a quick snapper through Marcus Johansson’s screen on Price to make it a two-goal lead.
  • Pacioretty redeems himself! A tape-to-tape pass from Radulov and the Captain gives the team some spark, making it a one-goal game.
  • The old Chucky is peeking through but not enough to get one past Holtby.
  • Well, this is a surprise. A bad-timing penalty against Andrew Shaw. This never ends well.
  • Habs are eager for the win, or at least and overtime win. Throwing everything they can at Holtby.
  • But it’s not enough to for the win. Capitals win 3-2.
  • I look forward to the next Price verses Holtby march-up. Next time though, Price for the win. Deal?

EOTP 3 Stars

Third star: Well, one out of two isn’t bad

Second star: I vote to replace the shootout with that

First star: I think there may have been a list of things to review waiting for them after the game

Highlight of the Night

Radulov beats Holtby for his 13th goal of the year.