12 washington galchenyukT.J. Oshie scored in the shootout after the Canadiens survived a Capitals power play in overtime and Washington came away with a 4-3 win at the Bell Centre Thursday night.  It was the Canadiens second game of their exhibition schedule.  They have lost both games after overtime.

The Canadiens were outplayed badly through the first half of the game, but the Canadiens managed goals on two of their first three shots to kept the game close. Andrei Burakovsky and T.J. Oshie gave the Capitals a 2-0 lead but Tomas Fleischmann and Alex Galchenyuk to tie the game before the first period was over. Alex Ovechkin made it 3-2 before David Desharnais’ goal tied it; a goal that eventually forced the overtime. Washington ultimately outshot the Canadiens 43-25 with Dustin Tokarski and Mike Condon sharing duty in the Canadiens nets. The three stars were Oshie, Fleischmann and Justin Williams who had two assists in the game.

Adding It Up –

The Veterans

.Tomas Fleischmann is going to make it very hard for a rookie to crack the Canadiens opening night roster. In camp on a professional tryout contract, Fleischmann was the Canadiens best player in almost every area. He was solid defensively. His goal was terrific: a roofed backhander from the shortside on Holtby. He drew the first assist on Desharnais’ goal.

12 washington desharnais.At the same time, we should mention Desharnais‘ game as well. His goal was the result of second effort on his own rebound. He won 15 of 21 faceoffs. He along with Fleischmann and Dale Weise  produced a total of seven Canadiens scoring chances. It’s early in camp but we might have the makings of a third line that, for the first time in a decade, could actually be offensively productive.

.Alex Galchenyuk appears to on the verge of the long awaited breakthrough. He is confident at centre and there’s chemistry with Alexander Semin and Lars Eller. Don’t expect Therrien to break the line up anytime soon.

.And what’s with P.K. Subban recording 28:02 and Andrei Markov 27:14 in a pre-season game?

The Rookie Watch

12 washington condon.Among the eight rookies who were in Michel Therrien’s lineup, goaltender Mike Condon was outstanding. He came into the game midway through the second period and stopped all 21 shots he faced including five during the 4 on 3 overtime penalty to Lars Eller. I saw a lot of Condon last year with Hamilton and am not surprised at how good he was but, considering how shakey Tokarski was through the game’s first half, the door might have been opened for a change in Canadiens backup goaltending.   

.We didn’t have much of a chance to watch Michael McCarron in this game because he spent almost a third of it (19 minutes) in the penalty box. Needless to say, there was no repeat of his Tuesday night success.

..Connor Crisp, playing on a line with McCarron, led the Canadiens with seven hits but no shots on goal.

.Charles Hudon is considered one of the Canadiens top prospects. So far there has been little to indicate he is ready to step up from the American Hockey League.

…..Sven Andrighetto played on a line with Hudon and Brian Flynn and wasn’t as noticable as he was Tuesday night when he skated with Tomas Plekanec.

.On defense, Jarred Tinordi had a really rough start but seem to settle his game as things went along. Tinordi is going to have to be a lot better than what we have seen so far in this camp.

….He’s very raw, but 6’4” Swift Current Bronco graduate Brett Lernout appears to have a few things going for him.

The Canadiens Lines and Pairings vs. Washington

Eller-Galchenyuk-Semin
Fleischmann-Desharnais-Weise
Hudon-Flynn-Andrighetto
Thomas-McCarron-Crisp

Subban-Markov
Tinordi-Gilbert
Beaulieu-Lernout

Next Up – The Chicago Blacks at the Bell Centre Friday night and then on to Toronto for Saturday night against the Leafs.