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game recap

Capitals rally to beat Canadiens in shootout

Friday, 11.29.2013 / 9:22 PM

Adam Vingan - NHL.com Correspondent

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Capitals rally to beat Canadiens in shootout
Montréal Canadiens 2, Washington Capitals 3
Three Stars of the Game
Braden Holtby
1st
SA: 37TOI: 65:00
GA: 2EV: 27-29
PIM: 0PP: 6-6
SV%: .946SH: 2-2
Mikhail Grabovski
2nd
G: 1Shots: 2
A: 1Hits: 1
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 1TOI: 20:31
Tomas Plekanec
3rd
G: 1Shots: 4
A: 1Hits: 0
PTS: 2PIM: 0
+/-: 2TOI: 20:53

WASHINGTON -- One week after losing 3-2 to the Montreal Canadiens at Verizon Center, the Washington Capitals returned the favor Friday with a victory of their own by an identical score.

Mikhail Grabovski tied the game with less than six minutes remaining in regulation and scored the game-clinching goal in the fourth round of the shootout to help the Capitals overcome an uninspiring start to earn a 3-2 victory against the Canadiens.

"We talk all the time about the way to win games in this League right now," Capitals coach Adam Oates said. "It's really difficult. You saw that. Their goalie played great. He played great last time in here. Both goalies did tonight. You've got to grind it out. You've got to be willing to grind it out. The second half of the game, I guess we did a better job of doing that."

The win snapped Washington's four-game losing streak. Montreal had its winning streak end at four.

Grabovski and Eric Fehr each had a goal and an assist, and Braden Holtby, who unexpectedly started the game after Michal Neuvirth left pregame warm-ups with a lower-body injury, made 35 saves. Peter Budaj, who made 25 saves in the victory last Friday, made 24 stops in the loss.

Slow starts have been a thorn in the Capitals' side throughout the season, and that trend continued during the first period on Friday.

Daniel Briere opened the scoring at 15:20 of the first period when he and Brian Gionta worked below the goal line. Gionta pushed the puck to Briere, who wrapped around the net and pushed the puck past Holtby.

Despite 3:47 of consecutive power-play time before Briere's goal, the Capitals were held without a shot on goal for the final 15:40 of the period.

Washington got off to a more spirited start in the second period, tying the game at 1-1 at 5:17 when Budaj mishandled the puck behind the goal, allowing Grabovski to corral it and feed a wide-open Fehr in front for his third goal of the season.

Montreal regained the lead 67 seconds later. On a 3-on-1 rush, Tomas Plekanec was the beneficiary of a bouncing puck that was originally tipped by Washington defenseman Nate Schmidt's outstretched stick before ricocheting off John Carlson and back to Plekanec.

It was the third goal in two games the Capitals have allowed within 80 seconds of scoring themselves.

With 5:32 remaining in regulation, Grabovski tied the game when Fehr returned the favor from his earlier goal. Shortly after Budaj stopped his backhand attempt, Fehr, who had to retrieve his stick after it was knocked from his hands, was able to chip a bouncing puck toward Grabovski, who settled it and beat the Montreal goaltender between his legs for his eighth goal.

"Just use my skates, play soccer little bit, but always dangerous when puck in the middle," Grabovski said. "Dangerous to defend that puck, so probably goalie don't see that shot. You try do everything to score a goal. Maybe a risky play, but this worked."

With the shootout tied at 2-2 after three rounds, Grabovski beat Budaj and Holtby stopped Plekanec to seal the victory for Washington.

"I thought we were the team that dictated the game in the third [period]," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "I thought we played well enough to win the game, so I'm disappointed that we came up short, but I believe our effort was there and when you go to a shootout, you never know.

"We found a way to score two goals, but it was not good enough."

The Capitals will look to build off their victory Saturday when they visit the slumping New York Islanders. The Canadiens will return home to face the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday.

scoring summary
1st Period
15:20
MTL
Daniel Briere (5) Wrap-around - ASST: Tomas Plekanec (9), Brian Gionta (7)
1 - 0 MTL
2nd Period
05:17
WSH
Eric Fehr (3) Wrist shot - ASST: Mikhail Grabovski (13)
1 - 1 Tie
06:24
MTL
Tomas Plekanec (8) Wrist shot - ASST: Brian Gionta (8), Alexei Emelin (2)
2 - 1 MTL
3rd Period
14:28
WSH
Mikhail Grabovski (8) Wrist shot - ASST: Eric Fehr (6), Troy Brouwer (4)
2 - 2 Tie
OT Period
NONE
Shootout
RNDWSHMTLTOTAL
1E. Fehr
L. Eller
1 - 1
2A. Ovechkin
D. Desharnais
2 - 2
3N. Backstrom
A. Galchenyuk
2 - 2
4M. Grabovski
T. Plekanec
3 - 2
penalty summary
1st Period
09:41
MTL
Brian Gionta  Hi-sticking against  Karl Alzner
11:28
MTL
Ryan White  Tripping against  Mikhail Grabovski
2nd Period
01:43
MTL
P.K. Subban  Hi-sticking against  Alex Ovechkin
01:43
WSH
Nicklas Backstrom  Unsportsmanlike conduct against  Michael Bournival
01:43
MTL
Andrei Markov  Roughing against  Nicklas Backstrom
08:45
WSH
Nicklas Backstrom  Interference against  Josh Gorges
3rd Period
02:42
MTL
Brendan Gallagher  Hi-sticking against  Nate Schmidt
08:48
WSH
Troy Brouwer  Cross checking against  Lars Eller
OT Period
NONE
goalie stats
Peter Budaj
SA: 26TOI: 65:00
Saves: 24EV: 22 - 24
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .923SH: 0 - 0
Braden Holtby
SA: 37TOI: 65:00
Saves: 35EV: 27 - 29
PIM: 0PP: 6 - 6
SV%: .946SH: 2 - 2