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Capitals vs. Canadiens Recap: Washington Wins in Captain’s Absence

The Capitals pick up two points in their return to action against Montreal with a 4 to 2 victory.

NHL: JAN 27 Capitals at Canadiens Photo by David Kirouac/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

After eight consecutive off nights the Capitals visited Montreal for their fiftieth contest of the campaign. Behind an excellent outing from Braden Holtby (31 saves) Washington was victorious 4 to 2.

Here’s Monday night’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: Jakub Vrana’s second period goal is his 23rd (!) of the season. Read today’s feature story on his offensive abilities here.

Minus: Alex Ovechkin was forced to miss the game due to NHL suspension.

Eight more notes on the game:

  1. The Canadiens scored 1:55 into the contest with Jeff Petry stashing his seventh goal of the season. A nice pass from Tomas Tatar beat everyone in white.
  2. But before the first period could conclude Tom Wilson knotted the score at one. A pair of passes from Vrana and T.J. Oshie allowed Wilson to slip home his shot behind Carey Price.
  3. Two minutes into the second period Travis Boyd gave Washington the lead for good. Lars Eller and Boyd were both battling for possession in the crease before the latter’s shot deflected in off of Petry’s skate.
  4. Vrana then extended Washington’s lead to two. Evgeny Kuznetsov was felled by Shea Weber but managed to poke the puck to Oshie in the slot, who delivered to Vrana for the finish.
  5. Early in the third period Joel Armia thought he scored Montreal’s second but a cat quick glove from Holtby snapped the puck off of the goal line. The play went to video review but the original call on the ice of no goal was quickly confirmed.
  6. With 12:30 to play Dale Weise drew Montreal within one, bringing Bell Centre back to life. Weise got himself into the slot with the puck and used his reach and patience to backhand the puck into the net from a tight angle.
  7. The Canadiens would press but were ultimately denied a tying goal by Holtby and his defense. He ended the evening with 31 saves in a great performance.
  8. And at 19:38 Nicklas Backstrom shoveled the puck into an empty net to provide the margin of victory. The goal is his tenth of the season.