Pacioretty’s lone goal in OT helps Habs top Caps for 5th straight win
Nothing is getting past Carey Price these days.
The star goaltender made 36 saves for his second shutout in a row, Max Pacioretty scored 3:08 into overtime and the Montreal Canadiens edged the Washington Capitals 1-0 Saturday for their fifth straight win.
It was nearly a repeat of Montreal’s last game Thursday night against the Rangers in New York, when Price got the shutout and Pacioretty scored late in the third period for a 1-0 victory.
The Canadiens improved to 15-3-1 in their last 19 games.
"We’re all making contributions," Price said. "It’s a team sport."
"Max made a big contribution at the end. Guys are all doing their part. I’m relying on the guys around me and they’re relying on me. Right now, we have perfect harmony going," he said.
Price has been at the top of his game of late. He showed it midway through the first period with a spectacular glove save on a close-in shot from Brooks Laich during a power play.
Price did even better as the Canadiens took consecutive minors in the second frame, making a quick pad save on Troy Brouwer from the slot and a glove save through traffic on Nicklas Backstrom.
Alex Ovechkin, whose shift lasted nearly 4 minutes, and John Carlson hit posts during the same sequence.
Washington has only one win in its last six games overall and has dropped five straight on the road.
Pacioretty went to the net to tip Tomas Plekanec’s pass over goaltender Braden Holtby for the winning goal. P.K. Subban’s assist was his 200th career point.
With Price sharp, that was enough.
"You get goose bumps when you’re stepping out of the tunnel because you want to step up for him," Pacioretty said. "It sounds cheesy, but he really is the backbone of this team."
"When we let him down by giving up a chance that’s not deserved and he makes a big save, I think we bear down a bit harder for him. It was a good example today. We left him out to dry a couple of times."
Holtby, coming off a shutout win Wednesday over Pittsburgh, made 29 saves in another scoreless three periods.
"I thought both goaltenders played real good," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said. "I thought we played a solid road game, we just couldn’t find the back of the net."
"We hit three posts and had a number of good chances. I don’t think we gave up a whole lot. I was pretty happy with the way we played."
Ovechkin led all players with eight shots on goal and topped his team with 25:18 of ice time, but was unable to pick up his 30th goal of the season. His monster shift in the second frame was likely his best chance, as well as one where he cut to the inside, plowed through three Canadiens and got off a shot in the first period.
"He’s a beast when it comes to being on the ice," Trotz said. "In the first period he did that lateral cut and it was like three bowling pins bounced off him."
It was Montreal’s first win at home over Washington since a 6-5 overtime victory on Feb. 10, 2010.
NOTES: Montreal hosts Arizona on Sunday. It will be the 24th time since 1991 that the Canadiens play two afternoon games on Super Bowl weekend. … Mike Weaver and Gabriel Dumont were scratched for Montreal. Cameron Schilling and Andre Burakovsky didn’t play for Washington. … The Capitals host St. Louis on Sunday afternoon.