Montreal Canadiens Best Washington Capitals, Lead Series 1-0

April 16th, 2010 No Comments

As has been the case throughout most of the playoffs, the Montreal Canadiens (the underdog in the series) shocked everyone but Habs fans, besting the Washington Capitals in overtime by a score of 3-2.

The Habs 3-2 victory marked the sixth time in as many games that the winning team beat their opponent by just one goal—the question is, are the one goal games confirmation of the parity that is thought to be within the NHL these days or simply a case of good luck on the underdogs part?

Personally, I sense it’s a little of both. The Philadelphia Flyers were outshot by a wide margin on Tuesday night and escaped with a 2-1 win over the New Jersey Devils. The Penguins were the victims of poor goaltending on the part of Marc-Andre Fleury, while the San Jose Sharks were…well, the San Jose Sharks!

Tonight’s game between the Caps and Habs was fast-paced with both teams trading offensive chances throughout the game. There were a total of 85 shots between the two team—38 by Montreal, 47 by Washington, which has to be up there with all-time shots in a Stanley Cup playoff game.

One of the most glaring statistics of the night? The fact that Alexander Ovechkin— one of the premier offensive players in the world— failed to register a shot on goal. And Capitals fans say Sidney Crosby doesn’t show up for the big games!

In the end the only statistic that counted was Tomas Plekanec’s overtime goal which came at 13:19 of the period, giving the Canadiens the win and a 1-0 series lead.

Both Jaroslav Halak and Jose Theodore were solid in between the pipes for their teams, a pleasant surprise to both coaches considering all the flack these goalies were getting heading into game one.

The Washington Capitals had numerous chances to put this game away but were stymied by Halak time after time. The Capitals often failed to get the puck up when shooting on Halak where he seemed vulnerable all night, something the Capitals will have to work on for game two.

One thing I was impressed with were the Washington Capital fans, who seem to be the only fans that realized that wearing white at a home game shows more support for the road team (who are required to wear white on the road) than their home squad, choosing to wear their red sweaters throughout the arena, creating a sea of red, which was cool.

Overall the Canadiens looked good tonight, question is, (as is the case with all the game one upset winners) can they keep it up for seven games?

Until next time,

Peace!

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