The Montreal Canadiens won their second road game in as many nights to start the 2014-15 season on the right foot, defeating the Washington Capitals 2-1 in a shootout.
The Capitals opened the scoring 6:43 into the game when P.K. Subban turned the puck over in his own zone, and Caps winger Troy Brouwer fed a pass to Andre Burakovsky who scored his first NHL goal in his first NHL game with a perfect one timer.
Washington kept up the pressure throughout the opening 20 minutes, outshooting the Habs a remarkable 15-2 in the first, but could not extend the lead beyond 1-0.Oct 9, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) skates with the puck as Montreal Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov (79) defends in the second period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Some line shuffling by head coach Michel Therrien changed the momentum for the Canadiens in the second period. Brendan Gallagher moved up to the top line with Max Pacioretty and David Desharnais, Jiri Sekac joined Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk on a second line, and P.A. Parenteau dropped to a third line with Lars Eller and Rene Bourque.
The Canadiens, much like last night against the Toronto Maple Leafs, found their footing in the second period and began to create chances. The two teams went scoreless in the middle frame, but the Habs held a distinct edge in scoring chances, and outshot the Capitals 12-7 in the period.
The Canadiens continued to push for the tie in the third period and thought they had knotted the score when a P.A. Parenteau shot slid between the pads of Braden Holtby and into the back of the net.
However, the referee would wave off the goal due to Bourque making contact with Holtby as he cut through the crease. It certainly appeared to me that Bourque was pushed into Holtby and could not avoid the contact, but the goal would not stand.Oct 9, 2014; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8) skates with the puck behind Montreal Canadiens goalie Dustin Tokarski (35) in the second period at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports
Just over a minute later the Canadiens would beat Holtby again, but this time the goal would stand. Tom Gilbert started the play by feeding a pass to Alex Galchenyuk who patiently waited for Plekanec to get open in front. Galchenyuk made a perfect pass, and Plekanec made an even better shot to beat Holtby over the right shoulder to make it 1-1.
The teams would head to extra time with the Capitals holding a 28-23 lead in shots, a sure sign that Dustin Tokarski played a stellar 60 minutes of hockey in his season debut with the Canadiens.
The Habs were victims of the new rule which has teams switch ends in overtime. Subban was stuck on the ice for more than two minutes to begin the overtime period, but a few more big saves from Tokarski would calm the storm and send the game to a shootout.
Backstrom shot first for the Caps and beat Tokarski over the blocker with a beauty wrist shot. Galchenyuk answered with a jaw dropping deke that had Holtby going in the wrong direction before Galchneyuk tied the shootout with a forehand shot.
Kuznetsov missed the net for the Capitals in the second round before Desharnais came in quickly and deked to his backhand and slid the puck behind an outstretched Holtby.
Eric Fehr tied the shootout at two apiece with a snap shot that squeaked through the legs of Tokarski. Parenteau was then robbed by the glove of Holtby to send the shootout to extra shooters.
Ovechkin and Plekanec were both stopped in round four, and Tokarski made a nice pad save on Burakovsky in round five before Brendan Gallagher ripped a snap shot five hole to give the Canadiens the win.
The Canadiens are back in action on Saturday night when they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Flyers.