Game 41: Capitals edge Habs in overtime

Links updated Sunday 6:50 a.m. 

Canadiens goalie Carey Price dives in vain for the overtime goal of Washington’s Mike Green, bottom right.
Christinne Muschi, Reuters

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On the day last January that Canada was winning its third consecutive world junior hockey championship, goaltender Carey Price was on his way to victory and being named the tournament’s most valuable player.

Chances are Price wouldn’t necessarily have minded being in the Czech Republic today, wearing a Team Canada sweater as his country again won gold.

The Canadiens, with the 20-year-old rookie in their Bell Centre net, dropped a 5-4 decision in overtime to the Washington Capitals this afternoon, defenceman Mike Green taking advantage of confusion in the Montreal zone to whip home the winner at 1:27.

There are less lively see-saws in the playground than this game, a wholly entertaining matinée that typically had more than its share of young fans in the seats. Montreal was up by two, down by one, tied, down by one and tied before losing in OT.

The Canadiens had regulation-time goals, in order, from Tomas Plekanec, Andrei Kostitsyn, Roman Hamrlik and Alex Kovalev. Washington superstar Alex Ovechkin scored two for the visitors, with singles going to Niklas Backstrom and Boyd Gordon.

The Capitals outshot the Canadiens 27-26 in regulation and 2-1 in overtime.

The Habs came into the game with a 20-13-7 record overall, and working to improve on their 7-7-4 record at home, an inexplicable weakness given a raucous Bell Centre that’s been sold out every regular-season and playoff game since the end of the lockout.

Montreal began the 2008 calendar year on Thursday with a 6-3 home-ice victory over the lowly Tampa Bay Lightning.

The Habs failed in its bid to win its fourth consecutive over the Capitals, who arrived with a 16-20-6 record.

The Canadiens return to Bell Centre action on Tuesday, closing out a three-game homestand when the Chicago Blackhawks are the visitors.


  1. idle says:

    Don’t use inactivity as an excuse. This is Pro. You need to be ready to play at all times and when you get your opportunities you can’t waste them. The job of a backup goalie is to be ready to compete to give the starter a rest and still give the team a chance to win.

    This is not to blame Price. Just don’t give excuses.

  2. idle says:

    That’s the part I don’t get either. Why can’t a player make a mistake or have a bad game and people just be upset about it and leave it at that. Why does it always have to go over the top like trade him, demote him, he sucks, etc.

  3. Shiloh says:

    Latendresse is a very marginal 15-goal scorer who might inch up to 20 because of ice time with more talented people. He has extremely limited skills and sorely needs some time in the minors. He has some size but is just too wretched a skater to catch up to anybody.

  4. RiverviewCanadien says:

    You’re damn right he needs to sit… come on open your eyes

  5. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Koivu needs to sit or be placed on the 4th line…he needs to play better than that

  6. Chuck says:

    So true… Ovechkin’s made a living out of making goalies far more experienced than Price his bitches. 🙂

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  7. Chuck says:

    Fair points. I guess that Gainey & Company are really the only ones with the answers.

    I had the pleasure of watching all of the Bulldogs’ home games during the Calder run, and Carey looked dominating. If Gainey’s thought process for keeping him with the team was that he had already mastered the AHL level calibre of play, then I certainly wouldn’t argue with him. It would seem that Price can learn far more at the NHL level as compared to the AHL, so my guess is that he isn’t going anywhere.

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  8. The Teacher says:

    I understand what you mean, but demoting him? I don’t think that’s right. Once they made the decision to keep him up, you have to stick with it.

    He just needs playing time, and he’ll get it. Learning how to be a pro.

    He didn’t play in 10 days, that could be a factor, Ovechkin was on the other team,that could also be a factor.

  9. Rtnrlfy says:

    Chuck, Teacher, et al:

    Speaking solely for myself, I don’t mean to throw Price under the bus… ever since I saw him in person in the CC finals last spring here in Hershey, I’ve thought he’d be a great addition to the Habs, and I haven’t changed my mind on that. My question is where he can best refine and develop his skills right now – continuing with the Habs or going back down to Hamilton temporarily. If it’s with the Habs, then great. My concern is that his play seems to have steadily declined over his last few appearances (not just this game) – too much rest, as another poster here said? Or too much too soon?

  10. Chuck says:

    “Price is still young and doesn’t have enough experience facing NHL snipers. Once he worked on his fundamental and knows more about the NHL shooters, he’ll be more prepared to put up a better show.”

    That’s a great case for playing Price more, and not less.

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  11. PureGuava says:

    Latrendesse is useless. He can’t give or take a pass, skate, shoot, hit, play defense…Isn’t there another ‘Next’ tolken French kid we could play? How does Carbo continue to let the Latrendesse Log ride shotgun? Why would he sit an annual 30 goal scorer while ‘The Log’ is incapable of rolling? In their promotional block for the Habs on the RDS network, it was about 75% ‘The Log’ (attempting to play hockey and various shots of him looking confused and lost from the bench)15% Boullion (wow, our #5 D-man), and the remaining clips divided up among Koivu, Kovalev and Steve Begin. Am I the only one that sees a problem here? No wonder people don’t want to play here! It’s insanity. Carbo has benched three talented Russians (Kostisyn, Perezhogen, and Samsonov) and one Newfie so that this kid can play poorly. Enough already…I would trade ‘The Log’ straight up for Jan Bulis, Niklas Sundstrom, Alexander Perezhogen, Richard Zednik, Mike Johnson, Sergei Samsonov and all the other players that were not nearly as bad as him, but not given countless passes from the coaching staff, fans, and media because of where they were born.

    aaaannnddd – When your goalie looks that shakey with one minute of play left in the 2nd, maybe give him the 3rd off.

  12. Chuck says:

    Why would Koivu need to sit if it was Price who singlehandedly lost the game? 😉

    Then again, Koivu DID miss an open net, so I guess you could say that it was all his fault that we lost, right?


    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  13. Chuck says:

    So true. I think that some folks need to get their priorities in order!


    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  14. Chuck says:

    Er… if Huet had the flu, then who in your opinion would have replaced Price?

    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  15. Rtnrlfy says:

    (multiple blue comments from here) These face-offs will be the death of us. ARRRRGRHHH! Come on Canada – don’t lose to Sweden again!

  16. Rtnrlfy says:

    Glad I’m not the only one having that deja vu feeling. 🙁 The Swedes are getting way too much time near the goal.

  17. linp says:

    Price is still young and doesn’t have enough experience facing NHL snipers. Once he worked on his fundamental and knows more about the NHL shooters, he’ll be more prepared to put up a better show. I also blame Carbo for sitting him too long. He should have played the game vs N.Y. while Huet was tired. He wasn’t in this game from start to finish.

  18. The Teacher says:


    One OT loss and everyone wants to demote or trade everyone.

    ahhh, the silliness

  19. The Teacher says:

    Haha, make sure you watch Canadiens Express so you can give me a more in-depth analysis 😛

  20. The Teacher says:

    Hahahaha, sit for a while?


  21. mjames says:

    I posted this on another thread . Here are a few observations on the game:

    (i) I liked the way the Habs team skated.
    (ii) I got concerned when the Habs missed some of their early chances (i.e. Lapierre, Tenders, and Koivu).
    (iii) I am not going to dump on Price. While he was not sharp, three of Caps goals (i.e. Ovechkin, Backstrom, Gordon) were scored from either the top of the circle in our end or the slot. Our defense just collapsed in thereby at least partially screening Price.
    (iv) I have been harping on this all season but we continue to let the opposing team enter our zone unmolested since our defense collapses in. If we are going to play Carbo’s famous trap system then we should stand at our blueline forcing the opposing team to turn it over or dump it. We are giving the opponents free shots by collapsing in. I can not blame Price for all of the goals.
    (v) Why does Price always drop to his knees on virtually every shot? I have to believe that limits his catching flexibility as well as covering the top of the net.


  22. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Any day, draft picks are a lottery number…trade Price as well 🙂 (I don’t mean that, but I am soo pissed at that kid)

  23. RiverviewCanadien says:

    Come on, Price single handedly lost the game…Koivu needs to sit for a while looks like, he is not good on the PP. I say Captain Kovalev for the rest of the season…damn that guy is good

  24. Da Hema says:

    I am unwilling to place the blame squarely on Price’s shoulder, but there is something wrong with his focus–which is unacceptable for any professional hockey player. He seems to fall asleep out on the ice, and what is disturbing is how frequently he does this. You can’t coach that problem away. That said, the Habs let another two-goal lead vaporise. They really need to develop some killer instinct. Washington may be in last place, but they can score goals. Oh well, at least they got a point in this new NHL crap.
    “The crowd doesn’t give a crap as long as you bring the money in.”
    –Guy Lafleur

  25. linp says:

    At least Price knows what he has to work on, the high glove hand. The opponents will be aiming that corner every time he is in the net.

  26. Hoegarden says:

    Second period collapse, that’s all. We definitely owe that single point in the standings to Kovalev today.

    So, anyone willing to cough up 4 1st rounders for OV today ????

  27. wild flower says:

    we won’t be sending size large 20-30 goal scorers to Hamilton.

  28. Rtnrlfy says:

    I’ll try… tough to do though, know what I mean? Overall I do see improvement in the Habs over the last few weeks but sheesh, it’s hard to lose to the Caps, the nearest team geographically to me. (Deep breaths, deep breaths, focus on Team Canada…)

  29. Shiloh says:

    Price was shaky – and the refs were horrible, but neither of those factors was as important as the poor coaching job done by Carbonneau. Ryder and Higgins get no ice time while Koivu has to play with Lats the anchor. I can see why the Russian players were upset – Latendresse is, for some reason, golden. And I suspect it’s because he’s a Quebecois. How can anyone not see just how poor a player he is? He can’t skate, doesn’t pass, can’t accept a pass and has no shot. But he plays while others sit – including A Kostitsyn for four games. Just offer Lats or AK even up in a trade and see the difference. Please, please send Latendresse to Hamilton – he’ll suck there as well.

  30. Mike T says:

    price doesnt need to go back down, he needed to be pulled after the third goal in the second period though. Everything else from montreal looked good this afternoon, yes they finally looked good in afternoon. And is anyone else noticing that Plekanec is now on pace for 72 points this year? and that A Stits has 9g 7a in his last 15 games….our team is taking flight gentlemen, one game, shakey goaltending, no biggie.

  31. longtimehabsfan says:

    I only saw the last 6 mins in reg and the OT but the Habs looked tentative and shaky and gave the Caps way too much room. They weren’t skating well and Price was flopping more than I’ve ever seen him before, particularly on the Ovechkin cross bar play that was reviewed. This team has been true to form all year: Inconsistent. You never know how they’re going to play. And they seemed lost in their own end.

  32. linp says:

    I’ll forgive Carbo for this one. Huet may indeed have a flu. Price looked so shaky he should have been replaced in the 3rd period.

  33. Girth says:

    No… relax.

  34. LTHF says:

    Again another Carrbo miscue, the 2 kosti brothers out on the winning goal, Ryder ZERO ice time in O/t

  35. Rtnrlfy says:

    Anyone else like to see Price go back down to Hamilton for a bit, just to work on his skills and get his confidence back? Surely Halak couldn’t do any worse. I have a lot of hope for Price but I don’t want to see him washed up before he even has a shot at a career…

  36. MNaslund26 says:

    when was the last time we won a game in OT or shootout??????
    seems like its been a while. no?

  37. The Teacher says:

    Pleks got three points? Man, that must have been the quietest 3 point game ever.

  38. jimbo says:

    HE couldn’t stop the hard ones,or the four hoppers today.Man that was awful.Time for Guy to play Huet and get us to the playoffs.

  39. The Teacher says:


    TIMO, what do you have to say today? 3 weak ones…

    I’m not bashing the kid (it can only be a learning experience for him), but I would like to hear your comments 🙂

  40. Shiloh says:

    Get Latendresse into the press box – NOW. He is horrible.

  41. sag says:

    While you are at it, give the refs the hook as well. Why was that goal called off? The Latendresse tackle?

  42. jimbo says:

    Get Price out of there.

  43. sag says:

    Agreed, Price has rarely looked so shakey. Fun hockey to watch though. We should have at least four by now. Oh well, hope the boys can come back while switching over to the Juniors. Go Canada!

  44. LTHF says:

    Well guess it appears just as Ryder was getting his confidence, Carbo must be trying his utmost to deflate him, no power play time and very little ice time in the second period, around 7 mins for 2 periods. Is there any wonder the Habs are behind!

  45. ccs says:

    Put Huet in for the 3rd because Price is looking pretty shakey out there….If only we could have burried some of those chances we had. Awsome goal from A.Kos though. Hope the 3rd is a good one for the HABS…

  46. Shiloh says:

    Latendresse is awful out there. How can he dress every game? For sure, he will have one bounce in off his backside and then everyone will conveniently forget just how bad he is. And to think Carbo sat A Kostitsyn instead of him…

  47. sag says:

    Hello to everyone else getting nothing done on this day from the hockey gods (Mtl win, Can gold, Leaf loss)! Anyone who says we don’t have a superstar han’t watched many games this year. Kovalev has been just that for 90% of our games. He has been tuned in and has been a physical force with and without the puck. Lets give the guy some credit for following up on last year with the type of solid team effort he is showing…not even in a contract year! Hope the game continues to display the offensive talent playing.

  48. Scotty90 says:

    I don’t usually predict but….. Habs 5 – Caps 2…… Ryder gets 2, Kovi gets 2, KostiJr gets 1.

  49. Bill H says:

    Thanks for the stats summary Ed. And don’t worry about the stars. Its the best way I know to align the columns.

  50. Ed says:

    Our Habs have been on a role since they lost to Dallas, & let’s hope they keep it up this afternoon. In the last 4 games they have 3 wins, & an overtime loss. Their face off %’s in those games have been 35%, 37%, 32% & 47%, definitely an area they need to improve in. The scores & some other total for those games are (GV – Giveaways: TK – Takeaways; HF – Hits For; HA – Hits Against; SF – Shots For; SA – Shots Against):

    Dec.27 Montreal 5 Tampa Bay 2 14GV 6TK 12HF 32HA 30SF 29SA
    Dec.28 Montreal 5 Florida 1 6GV 7TK 6HF 13HA 21SF 41SA
    Dec.30 Montreal 3 Rangers 4 4GV 11TK 23HF 28HA 21SF 21SA
    Jan.3 Montreal 6 Tampa Bay 3 17GV 5TK 32HF 25HA 30SF 33SA

    Some of the individual player stats for those 4 games are listed below. If only they could keep up the pace. It is a bit difficult to read as the numbers, when posted, don’t line up as they should under the different headings.



    ***************GP********GA********Shots Against**Saves*****Save %

    I find it amazing the number of hits & blocked shots that some players have in just 4 games, e.g.,Komisarek & Hamrlik. Also, the kid Sergei Kostitsyn leads the forwards in blocked shots with 4. That says a lot for what he brings to the team, besides his offensive upside & on ice vision. He is also a +3, & the Kovalev, Plekanec, A. Kostitsyn line is a combined +10 with 16 points. Incredible!

    GO HABS GO!!!

    P.S. Forgive all the stars. They are not for the Montreal players (LOL), but because I did not know how else to align the numbers with the headings. If anyone knows, please let me know. When I preview the comment, the alignment looks nothing like what I have typed.

  51. LTHF says:

    GO HABS GO- GO RYDER GO- Play like they did against Tampa and they shud be alright. Keep ovechin under wraps.
    Seen lot of comments in recent weeks from some saying they cant wait for the arrival of Paciorety. Well he certainly didnt show much against Canada yesterday and almost invisible against the Russians today

  52. MatttheHabsFan says:

    The stats summary at the top of the page is a little outdated

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