for this game

Nylander helps Capitals edge Canadiens

Dec 14, 2008 - 4:17 AM
MONTREAL (Ticker) -- Michael Nylander ended a personal drought at just the right time.

Nylander scored his first goal in 27 games with just over 2 1/2 minutes remaining in the third period, snapping a tie and lifting the Washington Capitals to a 2-1 triumph over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday.

Nicklas Backstrom netted a power-play goal and rookie Simeon Varlamov turned aside 32 shots in his NHL debut for Washington, which improved to 5-1-0 in its last six games.

"It was really tough for me to concentrate before the game," Varlamov said through an interpreter. "It was a really tough game, but I am happy to have won the game. I won my first game in Russia when I played, and now I won my first game in the NHL."

"That was pretty good, eh?" Washington coach Bruce Boudreau asked of the 20-year-old Varlamov's performance. "Nerves of steel, he really rose to the occasion. I couldn't ask for anything more. It was really cool."

Defenseman Patrice Brisebois tallied and Jaroslav Halak made 24 saves for Montreal, which wrapped up its seven-game homestand with a 4-2-1 record.

"It just seems we go out there and play and see what happens," Montreal's Steve Begin said. "It hasn't worked, and it's not going to work. We have to come in and work, work and work. That's what we need."

The Canadiens continued to struggle on the power play, going 0-for-8. They are 6-for-77 with the man advantage over their last 17 games.

"You can write what you want, but our power play is non-existent because we get outworked by the opposition," Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau said. "We have an advantage, and we don't

take advantage of that. We keep saying we have chances, but we have to bury them - and I don't care how."

Although the Canadiens are struggling, Boudreau kept a keen eye on their power play.

"When a team is struggling on the power play like Montreal is, the more power plays they get and don't score, the more they struggle," Boudreau said. "I was just worried if they had scored early, then the confidence takes over. Then, they get two or three and then they're back in it.

"Once they were 0-for-4 and then 0-for-5, I said, 'OK, we've got a chance. If we get another penalty against us, we might even score a goal because they'll really be holding their sticks tight.' I think that was the best effort our penalty-killers gave all year, going 8-for-8."

Nylander scored the decisive goal with 2:32 remaining in the third period.

Alexandre Giroux's shot was denied by Halak, but Nylander gathered the puck and backhanded it off the goaltender and into the net for his third tally of the season.

"It was real nice to score," Nylander said of his first goal since October 16 against Pittsburgh. "I haven't done a lot of that lately, so I think it was a big relief. ... I was just trying to get it on the net and it went off his goal pad. I think I was almost behind the net when I took the shot."

Backstrom opened the scoring just nine seconds into a power play, as he grabbed a rebound and slapped it past Halak at 10:19 of the first period for his 10th tally of the campaign and third in his last four games.

After a sluggish start to the season, Backstrom has notched 10 goals and 17 assists in his last 19 games.

Brisebois leveled the contest with 4:35 remaining in the second, accepting a pass from Alex Tanguay and unleashing a shot that beat Varlamov for his third goal of the season and second in as many contests.

That was all the Canadiens were able to muster against Varlamov, a 20-year-old Russian and the 23rd overall selection of the 2006 draft who was recalled from Hershey of the American Hockey League on Friday.

"He's a tremendous player and he works very hard. I was really happy for him that he got the win - in a game in Montreal, especially," reigning Hart Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin said of the netminder. "It's really great to play hockey, and against one of the greatest teams in the history of the NHL, he wins the game. He won the game for us."






  • 28
    roots
    #1 Cards Fan Added 10 roots

    Capitals 2, Canadiens 1  FinalDec 14 9:32 AM


  • NHL
    FINAL 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 0 1 2
    MONTREAL 0 1 0 1 FINAL
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) NICKLAS BACKSTROM 10 (ALEX OVECHKIN, ALEXANDER
    SEMIN) 10:19
    2ND PRD: MON - PATRICE BRISEBOIS 3 (ALEX TANGUAY, ROBERT LANG) 15:25
    3RD PRD: WAS - MICHAEL NYLANDER 3 (ALEXANDRE GIROUX, VIKTOR KOZLOV)
    17:28
    P

    Dec 13 9:39 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 2
    MONTREAL 1
    3RD PRD: WAS - MICHAEL NYLANDER 3 (ALEXANDRE GIROUX, VIKTOR KOZLOV)
    17:28

    Capitals 2, Canadiens 1  3rd - 2:32Dec 13 9:34 PM
  • 18
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    RUWTbot Took away 59 roots (Close Finish)

    Capitals 2, Canadiens 1  3rd - 2:32Dec 13 9:34 PM
  • 77
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    RUWTbot Added 72 roots (Close Finish)

    Capitals 1, Canadiens 1  3rd - 4:00Dec 13 9:30 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 2ND 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 0 1
    MONTREAL 0 1 1 END OF THE 2ND
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) NICKLAS BACKSTROM 10 (ALEX OVECHKIN, ALEXANDER
    SEMIN) 10:19
    2ND PRD: MON - PATRICE BRISEBOIS 3 (ALEX TANGUAY, ROBERT LANG) 15:25
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----

    Dec 13 8:44 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    MONTREAL 1
    2ND PRD: MON - PATRICE BRISEBOIS 3 (ALEX TANGUAY, ROBERT LANG) 15:25

    Capitals 1, Canadiens 1  2nd - 4:35Dec 13 8:41 PM


  • NHL
    END OF THE 1ST 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WASHINGTON 1 1
    MONTREAL 0 0 END OF THE 1ST
    GOAL SCORING:
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) NICKLAS BACKSTROM 10 (ALEX OVECHKIN, ALEXANDER
    SEMIN) 10:19
    SHOTS ON GOAL: 1ST 2ND 3RD TOTAL
    --- --- --- -----
    WAS 11 11
    MON 6 6
    GOALIES: WAS - S

    Dec 13 7:51 PM


  • NHL
    WASHINGTON 1
    MONTREAL 0
    1ST PRD: WAS - (PP) NICKLAS BACKSTROM 10 (ALEX OVECHKIN, ALEXANDER
    SEMIN) 10:19

    Capitals 1, Canadiens 0  1st - 9:41Dec 13 7:35 PM
  • 5
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    xxpatriotsfan Added 5 roots

    Capitals vs. CanadiensNov 18 4:41 PM