Round 1, Game 4: Capitals in command of series

Canadiens’ Tomas Plekanec is checked by Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin during the first period on Wednesday night. John Mahoney, The Gazette

Preview | Matchups | Wednesday’s NHL schedule | Boone’s Game Blog and About last night … | Stubbs on Twitter | Hickey’s game story | Washington Post

AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Mike Cammalleri | Carey Price | Brian Gionta | Hal Gill

• At a Glance: It was a see-saw battle for the first 40 minutes of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal between the Canadiens and Capitals on Wednesday night. But the Capitals exploded for a pair of quick goals midway through the third period en route to a 6-3 win.The Capitals opened the scoring with a power-play goal by Alex Ovechkin 8:10 into the opening period. It was Washington’s first power-play goal of the series after going 0-for-14 up to that point. Michael Cammalleri got that one back a minute later on a backhand from in close that eluded Semyon Varlamov. The Canadiens took a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal of their own in the second period when Brian Gionta pounced on a loose puck behind Varlamov and pushed in into an empty net. It was the only one of 21 Canadiens shots that Varlamov could not stop in the second period. But for the second straight game, the Capitals scored a shorthanded goal, this time with seven seconds to play in the second period when Mike Knuble scored off a perfect feed from Boyd Gordon. Washington came out buzzing in the third period and it would eventually pay off as Ovechkin scored his second of the game 11:09 into the period, using his blistering wrist shot to beat Carey Price. Less than a minute later, Jason Chimera made it 4-2. Knuble scored the fifth Capitals goal into an empty net with 2:27 to play, but Dominic Moore scored with just over a minute left to play before Nicklas Backstrom scored with 10 seconds to play.

• What It Means: The Capitals lead the best-of-seven series 3-1

• What’s Next:
Game 5 of the series goes Friday night in Washington. Should Game 6 be required, it would be next Monday night in Montreal.

530 Comments

  1. Say Ash says:

    JM can’t make a save for Halak, I understand. But he can call a timeout, which is something that Boudreau has appeared to do more effectively. And sitting out players that have had success against the Caps this year is another move I just don’t get.

  2. Hayward4Price says:

    No disrespect to you, but I’d hardly call pulling a marginal, aging goalie out coaching.  I don’t see how people always jump to that conclusion.  The disparity of talent between the two teams is enormous.  No matter who the Habs put out there, if every single Hab is not giving 100% and Washington is not having an off night or an off few shifts whereby the Habs happen to capitalize, we cannot compete no matter who is coaching.  If the Habs scored at least 2 goals in the first period last game when they were dominant, it would have changed the game completely.  Washington would play sloppy and try their typical stretch pass and hopefully the habs would cpitalize even further.

    Putting Halak back in net was not a bad move.  He is a good young goalie who had something to prove…unfortunately it didn’t work out.  Had he stolen the game, we’d be praising JM.  It was Halak failing to execute more then JM being outcoached.

  3. jimmy shaker says:

    Except that Hammer’s mistake lead to the beginning of the end for us last game!  And Spacek has been the guy that’s been tracking Ovi this series more often than Hammer, also I do recall Gorges, Gill, MAB and Marky getting there fair share of OVI.  JM wasn’t hell bent on getting the Spacek/hammer match up on OVi and CO.  ALso game 2……Backstrom coming over the line, Hammer backing in and backing in and backing and backing in on Jaro, Backstrom shoots from the top of the face off circle,  using Hammer as a screen and boom, great shot and great goal.  So he shited the bed in Game 2 and got the ball rolling for game 3.  But your right, he hasn’t been hurting us as bad as MAB.

    SHaker

  4. pic1983 says:

    Agree.  In the last two games, the D has done to jaro what theyve been doing to Carey all year.  they’ve been backing up too much and playing to defensively.  Its like the D-men are trying to play goalie, rather than cover their man.  On ovechkin’s goal last game, our two d-men were pretty much right at the top of the crease, while ovechkin is standing alone in the slot. 

    Martin has to get the players to have confidence in their goalie, and make sure to cover their man.  The capitals have way too much skill to give them the kind of space we’ve given them the past two games. 

     

  5. savethepuck says:

    Totally agree with with your comment that it’s professional sports and what someone deserves or what is “fair”, should not be an issue.  There were a lot of posts earlier to that effect.  Still no 100% confirmation as far as I’m concerned but it’s obviously highly likely.  Or has it been confirmed by JM yet and I haven’t read it.

  6. KenD29 says:

    This is the playoffs. Spacek witll be in there!

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  7. Say Ash says:

    Getting out-coached by Boudreau.

    Man.

  8. twocents says:

    Ooooo.. Gnome, such an angry word! I shudder.

    If you read carefully, I hardly relied solely on plus/minus. I looked at several aspects. Plus/minus as a stand alone stat is fairly useless. However when compared within the same team it becomes more meaningful. And, when compared with a player you play with most it becomes quite useful. In only 3 games MAB is -3 worse than his partner Markov.

    And the guy you say adds zero to our offence at least has a point in the series, unlike our gnome. Hamrlik also had the third best regular season point total among D and was a rock in Markov’s absence. Sure he can and should be playing better right now, but he is not hurting us as much as the MAB.

    And, if you hadn’t noticed Hamrlik and Spacek are often playing against arguably the world’s best player and one of the NHL’s premier lines.

  9. jimmy shaker says:

    Why can’t Hammer have this stupid virus that Spacek can’t seem to shake? 

    Shaker

  10. Laramy87 says:

    Spacek a game-time decison?!?!?!?!?!? he has been one of our best d-man in this series, i hope he plays tonight

  11. pic1983 says:

    I was just saying on this site the other day that I never thought id miss frankie bouillon.  Hes smaller than all our defensemen, yet plays bigger and more physical.  Physical (not big, physical) defensemen are definitely on my wishlist for next season.  Not one of our current defensemen play with any form of physicality.

  12. KenD29 says:

    True! But he brought his buddy Backstrom and Knubble with him!

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  13. pic1983 says:

    Jacques Martin doesnt have stones like Bruce Boudreau unfortunately.  Boudreau didnt like what he saw from theo and immediately replaced him and never looked back. 

  14. Chuck says:

    Gotta agree. Coaches have no problem benching a skater for not being on his game, so why insist that the goalie finish the game if he’s having an off night? 

    _____________________________________

    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  15. Chuck says:

    Oops. Double. And not the good kind. 

    _____________________________________

    Cheer for the crest on the front of the jersey, not the name on the back.

  16. KenD29 says:

    Three nights in Montreal for the Caps! Ovechkin who loves the nightlife here, will be a no show on the ice tonight. Too tired and hung over.

    Tonight we skate with them, Tonight is our night!

  17. Bob Barker says:

    I guess I should fire my writers. 

  18. Psycho29 says:

    How about a “STERRRROIDDDD” chant everytime Ovechkin touches the puck tonight???

    :-)

  19. Bob Barker says:

    Yeah his analysis is often terrible. I prefer the silence. 

  20. Bob Barker says:

    Good to see you got your Prozac prescription refilled. 

  21. Laramy87 says:

    All analysts said this series was over before it started… Its far from over.. we have play only 3 damn games

  22. Caballero says:

    You are onto something dude, do you guys remember Frank’s hit on Ovechkin?

     

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KPRWIXTdQLs

  23. HabsoluteFan says:

    Kool on Ice on The Score just said the series is over.  I can’t see it. The Habs collapsed in the 2nd period on Monday after playing a solid 1st period.  I’m hoping for a solid 1st again tonight and hopefully getting the lead.  I don’t know what to expect from Price but if he feels comfortable in the 1st, look out.  He knows this is a great chance for him to prove lots of critics wrong if he manages to pick up a win in game 4.  Obviously, he can’t do it alone.  I’ve seen him have great games this season without getting the W because the team choked in front of him.  We need Gomez to take out his frustration on the score sheet and not by sitting in the box for 5 and 10 minutes.  We need Pouliot to get out of his slump and some support from our bottom lines.  We need the crowd to stay lound and support the team even if they trail.

    I’d be very happy heading back to DC tied up at 2.  I predict Pouliot getting one, Cammy getting 2 in a close 3-2 W tonight.

    ————————————————————————-

    On december 18th, in the middle of a 5 game losing streak, this guy said the habs would turn it around and make the playoffs.

  24. SLONCOLD says:

    mara bigger though and since he is bigger he is stronger and less likeyl to be tired ….

  25. joeybarrie says:

    Goaltending is not our problem as Ian says. CORRECT. However, goaltending cost us Game 2 and Game 3. We needed Halak to be at his very best and he wasnt… Hopefully Price will do better, and if he doesnt then it will be goaltending that is the reason for our loss.

    This is true because of two things. First our goaltending is not consistent. But its pretty damn good for the ages of our goaltenders. Nothing against them, they are IMPRESSIVE……. But the second part is this. We are not as good a team as the Caps. Our Defense is weak, and our Offense is small and has problems finishing. Also inconsistent. Nothing against them either. Its the first season of a ALMOST completely new team. Given our injuries and our options we have done very very well. Next season we will have alot of suprises.

    Regular season, we are losing games by one or two goals, being outshot and outhit. We are not taking players out of the front of the net. Absolutely no reason to blame our goalies on that stuff. But in the playoffs its different. Everyone has to be at their best. MOSTLY the goalies. There is only one in the net. We can play Gomez more or less, Pouliot with this guy or that, Pleks on the PK, and MAB on the PP and hope to get different results. But in the goal there is only one, and in the playoffs he has to be GREAT.

    It isnt easy to be great and they should not be the scapegoat. First of all we have NO BUSINESS winning this series. But we can and if we do it will be because of great goaltending. And other functions, but most important is the goalie. LOOK AT JERSEY… Brodeur is averaging 3 goals against and is only facing an average of 26 shots a game. His SV% is terrible. Yeah his team isnt outscoring the opposition…BUT in the end they rely on him. Kovalchuk, Elias and Parise all have at least a point per game.

    There may be other teams, but only ONE Club De Hockey…

  26. wotever says:

    Halak didn’t look that great for the last 5 important games.  And we all know now he still does not have what it takes to be number 1,
    who knows maybe next year he’ll finally mature but I seriously doubt it
    until we find the right combination of coaches, coaching staff and
    D-men to support a not as young goalie like Halak.

    You’ll have to speak up – I’m wearing a towel.

  27. HNS says:

    Let me know when they arrive.


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