Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Huet, Habs Blank Capitals 4-0

*Big '8's collide as Mike Komisarek checks Alex Ovechkin into the boards. AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Ryan Remiorz/ESPN.com.

The Habs extended their winning streak to 3 games as they defeated the Washington Capitals at the Bell Centre Tuesday night by a 4-0 scoreline. Cristobal Huet notched his second shutout of the season, making 35 saves in the contest.

The Habs kept Washington goalie Brent Johnson busy as well, as the high-shooting tilt saw Johnson turn aside 36 of 40 shots fired his way. It was a visibly disappointing game for Alex Ovechkin, as he only got 4 shots away, not many of them quality. He was checked very well most of the night by Mike Komisarek, and even when things looked good for him, they didn't end up so well, as he had pucks roll off his stick on shots, and shots deflected into the crowd by Habs' defensemen. He also took a few solid checks from big Mike, but dished out some of his own as well.

The Habs got goals in all 3 major situations in the 1st period. First off, Mark Streit one-timed home the eventual game-winning first goal of the game on the powerplay, set up by Andrei Markov and Michael Ryder. The Habs then scored shorthanded, as Alex Kovalev did a great job killing off a 5-on-3 powerplay for the Caps, which eventually led to Tomas Plekakec intercepting a pass in his own zone and blowing by the rest of the Capitals squad. Fresh out of the box, Sergei Kostitsyn was able to join the rush onside to create the 2-on-0 against Johnson, and Plekanec slid him a perfect pass which Sergei then fired home passed the beaten Caps' netminder. Before the period's end, Steve Begin hounded down a loose puck behind the Caps net, and as Johnson hesitated to play the puck in fear of playing it outside the trapezoid, Begin threw it back out front to a streaking Koivu, who released a quick wrister that beat Johnson glove-high.

The 2nd period saw no scoring, but did have some great saves and missed opportunities at both ends, and also featured some absoultely mind-boggling moves put on by the show that we know as ALEX KOVALEV. This guy has SO much talent, doesn't he?

The final goal came in the last minute of the game, as Alex Kovalev was able to bang a loose puck through Johnson on the powerplay for a much deserved 1st point of the evening. Assisting on the goal were Plekanec and Streit, giving them 2 point nights.

Kovalev was rewarded with a goal after blocking a slapshot from Tom Poti earlier in the game. He was icing his thumb throughout the rest of the match, and it wouldn't be surprising to see Kovalev going for x-rays tomorrow. He played the rest of the game without missing a shift, so there is little reason to worry.

Josh Gorges has a standout game on defense, blocking 5 shots. Komisarek also blocked 5 on the night, and played a key role in the victory once again. Guillaume Latendresse was limited to just 10:53 of ice time in 13 shifts.

The 2 clubs meet again on Thursday at the Verizon Center in Washington.

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