“It could have been our last game of the season so everybody started with a lot of energy and we scored two goals in the first [period],” Halak said. “After that we were doing what we were supposed to.”
The start of the second period was delayed due to an issue of the camera pointed down at the goal the Caps were defending in the second period. After a slow start themselves to the period once the puck dropped, Washington finally got on the board.
After Ovechkin made a pass back to John Carlson at the point, Carlson’s shot was deflected to the front of the cage. Mike Knuble had a good poke at the puck in front which Halak stopped. However, Ovechkin swooped into the slot and poked the puck into the net with 3:52 gone in the second and put the Caps on the board.
The marker was Ovechkin’s fifth of the playoffs.
Montreal got a chance to up its lead when Joe Corvo was called for slashing in front of the Caps cage with 14:11 left, and the Habs nearly took a two-goal lead again when a chance defelected off the post during the extra-man advantage.
Washington killed off the chance, then got a power-play of its own when the Canadiens were called with too many men on the ice with 8:23 gone in the middle frame. But the Caps couldn’t cash in, and Eric Fehr was called for roughing after a scrum to negate the last :13 of the advantage.
The Caps finished the period outshooting the Canadiens 26-19, but Montreal held the lead.
After a back-and-forth start to the third, Washington got a good chance for the equalizer when Benoit Pouliot was called for holding with 14:45 left in regulation, but couldn’t pull even despite some good chances on Halak.
The Caps couldn’t quite get the equalizer, and then Washington was called for two many men on the ice with just 1:07 left in regulation, and couldn’t punch in the equalizer playing 5-on-5 with an empty net.
“It didn’t happen [tonight],” Morrison said. “I thought we applied some pretty good pressure in the second and third periods. They did a good job. We just didn’t find a way to overcome it tonight and I think it’s a direct result of our start. We got behind and they played their game.”
With one chance to finish off the Canadiens by the boards, the two teams will meet Monday night in Montreal with the Capitals having another chance to end the series — before the two teams potentially could head back to Washington for a Game 7 Wednesday night.
And according to the team’s captain, some of the Caps need to step up to end the series.
“We have to score on the power play,” Ovechkin said. “We had lots of chances. [Semin] has to score in the middle when he has a chance, [Fleischmann] had a chance. Our top guys have to score goals.”