for this game

Big first period sparks Canadiens past Capitals

Jan 30, 2008 - 5:09 AM
By Mark Lidbetter PA Sportsticker Contributing Writer

MONTREAL (Ticker) - The Montreal Canadiens capitalized with a trio of goals in the first period and cruised to a 4-0 victory over the visiting Washington Capitals at the Bell Centre on Tuesday.

Goaltender Cristobal Huet frustrated the Capitals, turning aside 35 shots for his second shutout of the season and 15th of his career.

Huet stopped 15 shots in the first period, 13 in the second and seven in the third.

"We wanted that game bad, we wanted to come strong in the first," Huet said. "They came out pretty strong in the second period. They were stretching guys at our blue line and we had trouble with that, but we adjusted in the third. Our defensive line did a great job against the (Alex) Ovechkin line."

Montreal scored on a power-play goal, a shorthanded tally and an even-strength goal to amass a 3-0 first-period lead.

Defenseman Mark Streit opened the scoring on the power play, blasting the puck from the right point that tipped off of Brent Johnson's left pad and into the net for his seventh goal of the season midway through the session.

Tomas Plekanec set the table for Montreal's shorthanded tally as he intercepted the puck at the blue line just as a Capitals' 5-on-3 advantage ended. Rookie Sergei Kostitsyn hit the ice to join Plekanec in a 2-on-none advantage.

Plekanec pulled Johnson to the right before sliding the puck over to Kostitsyn, who deflected the puck into the net with 3:07 remaining in the period.

"We didn't play well. You give up three goals in the first period and it's hard to get back," Ovechkin said. "It's hard to say what beat us, but we can't play like this on our power play and make mistakes in our zone. It just wasn't our game."

Steve Begin's hustle gave Montreal its third goal as he was half a stride shy of catching a breakout pass, but did get a piece of the puck to eliminate a potential icing call.

The left wing followed in to control the puck behind the Washington net and fed captain Saku Koivu, who blasted a one-timer past Johnson just inside the right post with 96 seconds remaining in the first period.

"The last few home games we've played a lot better," Koivu said. "Like tonight, even though they had 30-plus shots, we played a good game in front of Huet and he made some great saves a few times to keep us in the game. Things were clicking and when you get those two goals early in the period, it creates momentum and gives confidence to the team."

Alexei Kovalev added his 22nd of the season on a power play with 47 seconds remaining to complete the scoring.

"I thought - I hoped - we were prepared, but maybe I didn't prepare them well enough," Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau said. "We knew they were going to come out hard. The first period is their best period, and we had to stay away from their power play. Yet, it happened and we gave up way to many A-1 scoring chances."

Johnson finished with 36 saves for the Capitals.

"If it wasn't for Brent (Johnson), I thought it could have been a little bit more (for Montreal)," Boudreau said. "They had some really good 2-on-1s and 3-on-2 chances. They stayed to their game plan and we didn't with ours. We didn't compete hard enough. They didn't win the 1-on-1 battles and that's something we have to address (on Wednesday).








  • ------------------------------------
    Washington
    0 0 0 --0
    Montreal 3 0 1 --4
    ------------------------------------

    FIRST PERIOD -- Scoring: 1, Montreal, Mark Streit 7 (power play)
    (Andrei Markov, Michael Ryder), 9:44. 2, Montreal, Sergei Kostitsyn 4
    (shorthanded) (Tomas Plekanec), 16:53. 3, Montreal, Saku Koivu 10
    (Steve Begin), 18:24. Penalties: J Erskine, Was (delay

    Jan 29 10:36 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    MONTREAL 4
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 22 (TOMAS PLEKANEC, MARK STREIT)
    19:13

    Jan 29 10:22 PM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0 0
    MONTREAL 3 0 1 4 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) MARK STREIT 7 (ANDREI MARKOV, MICHAEL RYDER) 9:46
    MON - (SH) SERGEI KOSTITSYN 4 (TOMAS PLEKANEC) 16:53
    MON - SAKU KOIVU 10 (STEVE BEGIN) 18:07
    2ND PRD: NONE
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 22 (TOMAS PLEK

    Jan 29 9:59 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    MONTREAL 4
    3RD PRD: MON - (PP) ALEXEI KOVALEV 22 (TOMAS PLEKANEC, MARK STREIT)
    19:13

    Capitals vs. CanadiensJan 29 9:58 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0 0
    MONTREAL 3 0 3 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) MARK STREIT 7 (ANDREI MARKOV, MICHAEL RYDER) 9:46
    MON - (SH) SERGEI KOSTITSYN 4 (TOMAS PLEKANEC) 16:53
    MON - SAKU KOIVU 10 (STEVE BEGIN) 18:07
    2ND PRD: NONE
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD

    Jan 29 9:06 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 0 0
    MONTREAL 3 3 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) MARK STREIT 7 (ANDREI MARKOV, MICHAEL RYDER) 9:46
    MON - (SH) SERGEI KOSTITSYN 4 (TOMAS PLEKANEC) 16:53
    MON - SAKU KOIVU 10 (STEVE BEGIN) 18:07
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --

    Jan 29 8:17 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    MONTREAL 3
    1ST PRD: MON - SAKU KOIVU 10 (STEVE BEGIN) 18:07

    Capitals vs. CanadiensJan 29 8:15 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    MONTREAL 2
    1ST PRD: MON - (SH) SERGEI KOSTITSYN 4 (TOMAS PLEKANEC) 16:53

    Capitals vs. CanadiensJan 29 8:12 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 0
    MONTREAL 1
    1ST PRD: MON - (PP) MARK STREIT 7 (ANDREI MARKOV, MICHAEL RYDER) 9:46

    Capitals vs. CanadiensJan 29 7:57 PM
  • 10
    roots
    MDlifer90 Added 5 roots

    Capitals vs. CanadiensJan 29 1:17 PM
  • 5
    roots
    dcnationals74 Added 5 roots

    Capitals vs. CanadiensJan 24 7:50 AM