Canadiens stop Capitals’ winning streak at 14
MONTREAL (AP)—After coming back with three third-period goals to send the game to overtime, the Washington Capitals finally saw their team-record winning streak come to an end within 8 seconds of making it to a shootout.
Tomas Plekanec(notes) scored his second goal of the game at 4:52 of overtime and the Montreal Canadiens ended Washington’s 14-game streak with a 6-5 victory Wednesday night. Washington, which hadn’t lost in nearly a month, fell three wins short of tying the 1992-93 Pittsburgh Penguins’ NHL-record streak of 17 games.
“We always battle hard,” coach Bruce Boudreau said. “Normally we’d say that was a good point but we were trying to do something special so it’s a deflating loss. I think it was 7 seconds left to get to the shootout where we would have felt pretty confident tonight that we would have been successful, but those things happen.”
Trailing 5-2 after Plekanec scored Montreal’s fourth goal of the second with 1:04 left in the period, Washington battled back with three goals in the third— including two by Laich—to send the game to overtime.
“Well eventually you’re playing with fire getting down by two or three goals,” Laich said. “During the streak we have been able to come back. We can’t continually do it, it’s not a recipe for success, and eventually when you play a good hockey team they’re going to find a way to beat you.”
Laich, who scored 6:23 into the first to tie it at 1, scored his second of the game midway through the third to draw the Capitals to 5-4 after Mike Green(notes) scored a power-play goal 16 seconds into the third.
“It’s obviously disappointing,” Green said. “We really wanted to push and keep this thing going. I think it builds character for a team and it’s disappointing, but I thought we played well there in the third period and we battled back to give ourselves a chance and you know that also builds character.”
Glen Metropolit(notes) and Maxim Lapierre(notes) scored 12 seconds apart in the second for Montreal. Tom Pyatt(notes) also scored in the middle period for the Canadiens, and Scott Gomez(notes) scored in the first. Sergei Kostitsyn(notes) had three assists.
“To beat this hockey club is great for us, Plekanec said. “We needed two points in the standings and we got them.”
“Carey showed some character and determination,” Canadiens coach Jacques Martin said. “He made big saves when we needed them.”
Alexander Ovechkin extended his points streak to eight games with an assist on Backstrom’s 26th goal, which tied it at 2 early in the second. Ovechkin added his second assist on Laich’s hat trick goal.
Washington’s Michal Neuvirth(notes) stopped 12 of 14 shots before he was replaced by Jose Theodore 6:11 into the second with the score tied at 2. Theodore, who allowed three of Montreal’s four second-period goals, made 21 saves the rest of the way.
Metropolit got his 12th goal of the season on a power play 12:45 into the second to give the Canadiens their third one-goal lead at 3-2.
Lapierre beat Theodore with a shot from the slot shortly after the ensuing faceoff to put Montreal up 4-2 at 12:57.
Ovechkin had a goal waved off 14:10 into the second. Ovechkin crashed the crease and knocked Montreal defenseman Hal Gill(notes) into Price as the puck slid into the net after the Montreal goalie made a huge glove save on Mike Knuble’s(notes) shot.
“I don’t want to comment but I think it’s a clear goal,” Ovechkin said.
Initially ruled a goal, the on-ice officials huddled in front the timekeeper’s bench before reversing their decision, waving off the goal.
“If they would have called it no goal, I would have accepted it, but they called it a goal on the ice,” Boudreau said.
Plekanec increased the Canadiens’ lead to 5-2 when he scored his 16th goal with 1:04 remaining in the second.
Green drew Washington to 5-3 with a power-play goal 16 seconds into the third, beating Price with a wrist shot from the point 3 seconds after Plekanec was sent off for slashing.
Laich, who scored 6:23 into the first to tie it at 1, got his second of the game—his 19th goal—at 9:02.
Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges(notes) was struck on the left side of his head by Green’s slap shot with 10.9 seconds left in the first. Gorges lay face down on the ice for several moments before he was able to sit up and make his way to the dressing room with the help of athletic therapist Graham Rynbend. Gorges did not return.
“That was scary,” Green said.
NOTES: Canadiens C David Desharnais(notes) recorded his first NHL point with an assist on Metropolit’s goal. … Pyatt, who assisted on Gomez’s goal 36 seconds in, scored 41 seconds into the second for his first career goal.