Habs Goalie: Budaj (L)
Opposition Goalie: Vokoun (W)
Habs goalscorers: None
Opposition goalscorers: Wideman, Hendricks, Semin (PS)
Tomas Plekanec - Game Puck
A hard night to choose a game puck. Plekanec is really focusing on his back-end play this season and this has been contributing to his offensive drop-off. I really liked his play in our end and some of the great breakout passes he makes. His rush at the net off a great Subban exit pass in the last 30 seconds reminded me of what a competitor he is and how hard he works every shift, even if it doesn't necessarily show on any given scoresheet. One wonders why he wasn't matched more consistently against Ovie.
One of those nights where you're stretching to fill the dome. Once again, the Cole/Desharnais/Pacioretty line provided the grand majority of our offense. I love the way this line starts periods with huge intensity, and Cole uses his size and speed to create a lot of the chances they get. Bourque can start taking notes.
Could just as easily have been Pacioretty, but I liked Desharnais a little more. He's a fun player to watch and he goes hard to the net. He's got good speed and great sense, and I hope we can continue to watch him develop over the coming years.
One of Subban's major assignments was to stay on Ovechkin and not let him have a big night. The two were in each others' faces all game, and in my opinion PK definitely looked like the winner in terms of having a greater impact on the game. He seemed like one of the only Habs actually fully awake and into this contest.
I love this player. He brings so much to the back end and really has great hockey sense. His -2 is a little unfortunate, as 1 was the Wideman goal and the other he was actually putting a body onto Laich, who was getting his stick on a rebound right in front of Budaj (while Kaberle disappeared behind the net). Made a lot of great neutral zone plays and took some well-considered shots while posting another 4 hits.
Again, a more than satisfactory performance from our backup in just his 3rd appearance in 17 games. The Wideman goal was a bit of a freak occurrence, and the skaters really hung him out to dry by leaving Hendricks all alone. And it doesn't matter who you are, Semin is going to score on a lot of his penalty shots. Of course, I wasn't too impressed with him drawing a penalty shot by throwing his stick at the puck, but at least he came up with the save on Brouwer.
What a sleeper. Some parts felt a bit like a soccer game, with prolonged bouts in the neutral zone that featured few scoring chances. I would have predicted that circumstances like that favour us, but instead we looked flat and lazy at times: Kaberle being out of position to allow Semin's breakaway and disappearing behind the net on the Hendricks goal, Bourque's lack of physical engagement and being a step or 3 back from Hendricks, Kostitsyn seeming to forget that offense can happen outside a power play...
You have to give the Caps credit for collapsing responsibly around their net and Vokoun for directing the rebounds very well. We never really established any kind of offensive presence despite outshooting Washington, especially through the 2nd period. Instead, Washington shut us out through the 10th consecutive period in our own building, and we frankly looked a little lazy and lackluster.
Some interesting moments, even if they weren't great. I can't remember ever seeing a goalie actually throw his stick at a puck before. The crowd was erupting into cheers every time Gomez laid his stick on the puck—tomorrow marks one year since he last scored a goal (against the Rangers). He looked more than a little embarrassed, I actually felt a little bad for him.