FINAL | Game 46, Away Game 22 | Friday January 19, 2018 
Capital One Arena, Washington, DC.

CANADIENS
Montreal

teamlogo_canadiens

3-2

CAPITALS
Washington

(Photo by Nick Wass, AP)

Lineup

Forward lines and defense pairings 

Pacioretty – Byron – Hudon
Lehkonen – Plekanec – Gallagher
Galchenyuk – Drouin – Deslauriers
De La Rose – Froese – L. Shaw

Alzner – Petry
Benn – Jerabek
Mete – Schlemko

Goaltenders

Niemi
Price

Scratches

Daniel Carr, Joe Morrow

Injuries

Ales Hemsky – concussion, Shea Weber – lower-body, Phillip Danault – concussion, Andrew Shaw – lower-body

Game Report 

When challenged by the head coach this season, the Canadiens, collectively, have responded. Following the 4-1 embarrassing loss in Boston on Wednesday, Claude Julien directed the media to ask players if they had quit on the season.

Canadiens delivered their answer, loud and clear, tonight at the Capital One Arena as they outskated and outworked the home team, who looked rusty coming off their bye week.

The Canadiens effort yielded scoring chances but didn’t easily convert to goal production. When the iron was ringing (at both ends of the ice), a player like Charles Hudon was turning a clear breakaway into no more than a bad pass and an anecdote.

Max Pacioretty led the Habs with two goals and an assist. His strong forecheck and a winning a board battle set up Paul Byron’s goal. Pacioretty now has six goals in his last six games. 

The captain has been playing well for six weeks but now the goals are starting to come. Pacioretty met the coach’s challenge, elevated his game and, with a committed effort from most of his teammates, delivered a win.

It was enough, on this night, to defeat the fifth best team in the league. But it’s not enough, on a consistent basis, to contend for a playoff spot. That’s not Pacioretty’s fault.

This team doesn’t have the talent, both at forward and defence. That’s Marc Bergevin’s fault. And the type of hockey played doesn’t match the strengths of the players. Pin that on Claude Julien.

While many of the uninformed, hysterical fans want every player on the roster (apart from media darling Nicolas Deslauriers) sent packing, real change can not take place until Bergevin and Julien are relieved of their duties. It can’t happen fast enough, especially with major decisions looming as the trade deadline approaches.

~~~

▲  Max Pacioretty, Alex Galchenyuk, Tomas Plekanec, Brendan Gallagher, Artturi Lehkonen, Paul Byron, Antti Niemi

▼  Jonathan Drouin, Charles Hudon, Jeff Petry

 Statistics 
CANADIENS   CAPITALS
26 Shots 26
43% Face-offs 57%
1-for-4 Power Play 1-for-3
13 Penalty Minutes 15
19 Hits 18
67 Corsi For 61
 Scoring
 FINAL 1 2 3 OT SO T
 Canadiens (19-21-6) 0 1 2 3
 Capitals (28-15-4) 0 1 1 2
Scorers Goalies
  • MTL: Pacioretty (13)-PPG, Byron (13), Pacioretty (14)
  • WSH: Carlson (6)-PPG, Eller (10)
  • MTL: Niemi (L) 1-5-1
  • WSH: Grubauer (W) 4-6-3
 NHL Three Stars

NHL3stars
  1. Antti Niemi  MTL
  2. Philipp Grubauer  MTL
  3. Paul Byron  MTL

 Video Highlights 
 Post-game Press Conference
Claude Julien

  • “All of the lines played well [in Washington]. We were responsible at both ends of the ice and on offense. We had support and we took the time to make good plays.”
  • “We have to stay positive, be optimistic, and believe in ourselves. I hope the guys will bring the same effort [on Saturday].”

Max Pacioretty

  • “It was a much better game. If we look at the big picture, I think we’ve played five of the last six really good games. I know we want to be really upset when we don’t show up against Boston, and that’s a great way to respond as a group.”
  • “Now that we put that effort together, we’re able to look at the big picture of the last segment of six games or so and hope to build some confidence off of that as a group and string together some wins.”

Quotes courtesy of NHL.com

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