M. Perreault (04:16 - 1st) , J. Beagle (16:10 - 1st) , M. Hendricks (00:00 - SO)
MTL: P. Budaj (L)
WSH: M. Neuvirth (W)
Last night in Washington, the Capitals were going into the game against the Habs tied for 8th in the East with the Buffalo Sabres (at 86 points). So the Habs job in this game was to play spoilers and try to prevent the Caps from leapfrogging over the Sabres. Just 5 minutes in, Semins shot was blocked but he got the rebound and centred the puck right to Perreault and he scored to make it 1-0 Capitals lead. Then with under 4 minutes to play in the first, Hendricks came up the left wing and centred the puck right to Beagle and he tipped the pass past Budaj and in to make it 2-0 Capitals lead. With less than 30 seconds remaining in the first, Pacioretty came flying down the left wing and fired a shot and it was stopped by Neuvirth but Cole scored on the rebound to cut the lead to 1.
Late in the second, Plekanec skated up the right wing and deked his way past former Canadien Roman Hamirlik and then he roofed the shot over the glove of Neuvirth to tie the game. This game would go to a shootout. Hendricks was up first for the Capitals and he scored. Desharnais and Pacioretty would both miss for the Habs. Ovechkin also missed for the Capitals. But the Caps third shooter, Alex Semin had a chance to win the game and he did. The Capitals win 3-2 and now have 88 points and sit 2 points up on the Sabres for 8th in the East. In the win, Neuvirth made 39 saves and he really won this game for the Capitals.
"The guys worked hard tonight and they deserved maybe a better fate," Montreal coach Randy Cunneyworth said. "We certainly crawled out of the deficit we had and the first goal (by Cole) was a big one, obviously turning the game around for us and getting us going in the right direction. ... I liked the effort overall."In the loss, Budaj made 31 saves. With this shootout loss the Habs shootout record continues to be the demise of what eliminated them from Playoff contention as they have 5 shootout wins and 11 shootout losses. If the Habs were to win at least 70% of the shootouts this season they would be in the playoff race.
Written By Andrew Di Pardo