On Monday “we” had a match-up of handsome goaltenders who also happen to be the two best at the position in the entire world. One of those men, Braden Holtby, is currently playing the best hockey of his career in this young blogger’s opinion. Three straight games of absolute dominance, and he won a duel with the perceived best netminder in the entire league on a big stage at the Bell Centre. Be thankful for him, Caps fans. “We” are lucky.
The first was a highly competitive and fast period that saw your Capitals go up 1-0 on the Habs after Nicklas Backstrom put home a rebound from an Alex Ovechkin shot to put the good guys on top. A quick goal from the “new” first line with TJ Oshie out. Shots 12-7 Caps at the end of 20 minutes.
The Caps dominated the second period in pretty much every positive stat that you can think of except the one that counts most, goals scored. Carey Price and Braden Holtby were still locked in a duel between two goaltending greats. A scoreless second left us at 1-0 still after 40 minutes. Shots 29-15 Caps.
Holtby’s sparkling effort couldn’t keep Montreal off the board in the third though. Tomas Plekanec converted on a power play opportunity ending Holtby’s shutout streak at 8 periods. The goal would be reviewed for goaltender interference but eventually upheld. Evgeny Kuznetsov then went full video-game deke with his magic hands to put the Caps back on top 2-1 almost immediately after the game was tied. Kuznetsov would leave another heavy mark on the game as he stripped Carey Price of the puck behind the net and fed a charging Brett Connolly to make the game 3-1. Alex Ovechkin would add a late power-play goal to make it 4-1.
Caps beat Canadiens 4-1!