Coming off a “lousy” game two nights ago at home (coined by Coach Adam Oates). Outshot 13 to 4 in first period. Surrendered a game leading goal late in the second only 67 seconds after tying the game on a fluke goal.
The Capitals needed a late third period goal by Troy Brouwer to Eric Fehr to Mikhail Grabovski and shoot out goals by Fehr, Alex Ovechkin and Grabovski to win in the shootout.
The game started poorly for the Capitals. Simply put, the Capitals were awful in the first period. Just four shots. And the best scoring opportunity came less than one minute into the game from a pass across the crease by Fehr to Grabovski. Grabovski’s sharp angle shot hit the side of the net.
In the locker room after the first period, the Capitals seemed to focus on the fact that they were only losing 1 to nothing. Grabovski emphasized that the team simply needed to play our game; just play harder. Fehr said that every guy in the locker room knew what to do.
The difference between the first period and the second, however, was sharp.
The Capitals had three times as many shots (13 v. 4), and almost twice as many hits (14 v. 8). The pace was much faster.
However, despite the better play, the Capitals managed only one goal when Grabovski stole the puck from Canadien goalie Peter Budaj behind the net. Grabovski centered to Fehr for the open net. The Capitals were tied 1 to 1 with five minutes left in the second.
The tie did not last long. Brian Gionta centered to Tomas Plekanec 67 seconds later for the 2 to 1 Canadien lead.
Fehr called the goal “heart breaking”. He emphasized, however, that the team played the same style after the goal as before the goal.
With 5:32 to go, Fehr shoots and Budaj kicks back to Fehr. Fehr passes to Grabovski who scores between Budaj’s legs. As Oates explained, “Fehrsie [Eric Fehr] makes a good pass. Grabo’s [Mikhail Grabovski] there. Good player. Stops where he’s supposed to stop and releases the puck and scores. Not really a fancy goal, but it is just because the guys had executed and did their jobs.”
Holtby makes five saves to force a shootout.
Capitals shoot first. Tied 2 to 2, Grabovski scores on a slapshot between Budaj’s legs. Holtby stops Tomas Plekanec, who scored in the second, to secure the victory.
Jay Beagle played his sixth game of the year. He replaced Brooks Laich, who was a healthy scratch. In 12:32 of ice time, he had 2 shots and 5 hits. He also won 9 out of 15 faceoffs.