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2014 NHL Draft
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Plekanec just wanted to put winner on net

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

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Plekanec just wanted to put winner on net
Until Thursday, Montreal center Tomas Plekanec had only four playoff goals in 21 games. His fifth goal in his 22nd game couldn't have been any bigger or come at any better a time.
WASHINGTON -- Until Thursday, Montreal center Tomas Plekanec had only four playoff goals in 21 games. His fifth goal in his 22nd game couldn't have been any bigger or come at any better a time.

Plekanec rifled a shot from between the circles past Washington goalie Jose Theodore with 6:41 to play in overtime, lifting the Montreal Canadiens to a surprising 3-2 win over the President's Trophy-winning Capitals at Verizon Center.

A calm and composed Plekanec met with the media shortly after he scored his huge goal. Here is what he had to say:

Q: What did you try to do with your shot that went in for the winner?

Plekanec: I just wanted to put the puck on net. The puck was bouncing a little bit. It wasn't flat on the ice, so I just tried to shoot it and it went in.

Q: It looked like you guys were just trying to shoot everything and anything at that point. Was that a big key?

Plekanec: Yeah, you've got to do it against the good goalies. Theo played great tonight and you have to shoot to score. We saw it last night that they scored goals from corners and off defenseman's skates. We wanted to do the same thing and it paid off.

Q: Were you shooting at anything, to one side or the other?

Plekanec: No, I just wanted to shoot the puck and hit the net. Cammy (Mike Cammalleri) was coming there so I was thinking he might get the rebound and I would be going to the net after that, too.

Q: How big is it for you to get that goal?

Plekanec: It's for our team. It's a huge goal for our team. For me, personally, I am happy to score that goal, but it doesn't matter who scores the goal in the playoffs. Stats don't matter. You have to do your job and that is what we did. Every guy on the team did a great job tonight and we won the game.

Q: Kind of interesting that -- you can call it a controversy if you want to -- but you get the winner against Theodore after all the stuff that went on Tuesday in the media?

Plekanec: Like I said, I didn't take it personally and it wasn't right what was in the newspapers, or completely right. I was clear and I didn't do anything bad or say anything bad about Theo. I would never do that. I respect him big time. He won the (Hart) Trophy for his performance in Montreal. I've played with him and he's a good goalie. That's all.

Q: Did you look at it as though you guys had to survive the first period with their onslaught of 19 shots to your seven?

Plekanec: Well they played well, but I didn't think that we played that bad. Obviously they pressured us big time and they had some power play time and got some shots there and a couple of good chances. We picked it up in the second period so we did better. We were a little more passive in the first period than we intended to be.

Q: Did you always intend to shoot the puck? It looked as though you looked off Mike (Cammalleri) even though he gave you the little tap-tap to say, “I'm open.”

Plekanec: Well, he always does that. That's why I can't shoot that much because he's always calling for the passes. It's hard to shoot the puck sometimes with him. [laughs]

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl


Quote of the Day

I came into a team that had 65 points, that was at the bottom of the basement, a team that everybody wrote off as never going to be good. My goal is to go from the very bottom to the very top.

— Forward Brandon Dubinsky on signing a six-year contract extension with the Columbus Blue Jackets