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Two beasts of the East faced off Thursday night at Bell Centre as the Washington Capitals defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-2. Braden Holtby played liked a gold-dipped demi-deity, recording 33 saves. T.J. Oshie declared, "what drought?" as he scored twice against the Habs, now up to 8 goals on the year.
All-in-all, an excellent two points for the Capitals.
Here's Thursday night's Plus/Minus:
- Plus: Braden Holtby, the bards and prophets will sing of you. Time and time again this season, Holtby has shown us the definition of one player keeping his team in a contest.
- Minus: Even in a winning effort, giving up 35 shots on goal is unsustainable and worthy of scorn. Get your stuff together, Caps. Get. Your. Stuff. Together.
And now, this...
Ten more notes on the game:
- Braden Holtby was fantastic again tonight, continuing his career year. At one point in the second period, Montreal had double the Capitals shots, yet Washington held the lead. Holtby is earning that new contract money every single night.
- Tom Wilson got the scoring going early for the Capitals, notching a 1-0 lead in under three minutes. Wilson has goals in two consecutive games now, a massive streak relatively- like medieval royal blood lines. Tommy was told: cut the crap and evolve, or find your role diminished. Looks like he's choosing the former.
- Welp, T.J. Oshie sure found the scoreboard, didn't he? A rifleripper from the circle in the second period popped up into the air and into the net, and a heads-up snap shot in the third gave the Capitals a late lead.
- Brian Flynn tied the game for Montreal 2-2 early in the third period with a shorthanded goal. It was the first shorty given up by the Caps this year, and like a Mugsy Bogues crossover, this shorty hurts.
- Montreal just dominated the shots from about 5 minutes into the game until the end. By the final buzzer, the tally was 35-19. Again, thank Braden Holtby. I'll wait.
- Seriously, allowing 35 shots is not good stuff. However, the fact that the penalty kill managed to go 3/3 is a plus in the defensive column.
- Taylor Chorney took a bad puck-over-the-glass penalty in the second period that led to a Montreal goal as the penitence portion expired, but besides that, he looked solid. Indeed, maybe the weakest part of the defense was #1 blueliner John Carlson.
- Justin Williams is just one point away from his 600th career point, and Marcus Johansson is just one away from his 200th. Congrats, boys!
- Another road victory for the Capitals, a category that they've been oddly strong in all year. What's wrong, Caps? You got a problem with your home? You too good for your home or something?
- Hey, hey guys and girls...how nice was it to roll into Montreal and it be US with the hot goalie, US with the frustrating backstrop, US with the madness-inducing netminding? Mwahahaha.
Even though it was ugly, a win is always prettier than a loss, and the Capitals sent a message with this one. They are a team to be feared in the East, and all of a sudden it's fun time in DC. The Caps play the Jets in Winnipeg on Saturday.