Capitals Beat Canadiens 2-0 As Braden Holtby Earns Second Career Shutout

Braden Holtby turned away all 18 of the shots he faced as the Capitals moved back within two points of first place in the Eastern Conference.

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Capitals Vs. Canadiens: Alexander Semin Adds Late Goal For Caps 2-0 Victory

For the 11th time since the NHL Trade deadline, the Washington Capitals have beaten their opponents and gotten closer to the top seed in the Eastern Conference. They've won 11 of the 13 games since Jason Arnott, Dennis Wideman, and Marco Sturm became members of the Capitals.

Sturm was influential in this game in particular. His goal in the second minute of the game was the biggest difference between the Capitals and the Montreal Canadiens for almost the entire. That, and over a dozen shots. The Capitals out-shot the Canadiens 33-18.

Sturm also played a major role in the final goal of the night, breaking up the Canadiens' puck movement and finding Nicklas Backstrom on the wing. Backstrom hit Alexander Semin in front of the net for an easy finish to a play that saw two of Washington's top forwards in alone against Carey Price.

The Capitals now find themselves once again two points behind the Philadelphia Flyers for first place, and two points shy of 100 points this season.

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Capitals Vs. Canadiens Score: Caps Continue To Out-Shoot Habs, Still Lead 1-0

The Washington Capitals have now out shot the Montreal Canadiens 26-11 in the first two periods of action Bell Centre, but still lead by only one goal.

Carey Price, a name that United remains intimately familiar with following the seven game playoff series in 2010 that the two teams participated in, has stopped all but one of the Capitals' 26 shots, and might even earn first star honors despite being on the losing side.

Braden Holtby may argue with that though. The young goaltender made two great saves late in the period, stoning Jeff Halpern on one attempt for the Canadiens, and forcing Mike Cammalleri to strike the outside of the post by cutting down the forward's angle on a quality scoring chance for Montreal.

The Capitals have been organized and smart, giving up only one power play opportunity all game for the Canadiens, and shutting it down late in the second period.

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Capitals V.s Canadiens Score: Marco Sturm Crashes The Net To Give Caps 1-0 Lead

Can anyone think of a time that crashing the net was a bad idea? I can't. Right now, the Washington Capitals can't either. They lead the Montreal Canadiens 1-0 on a net-crashing goal from Marco Sturm.

Nicklas Backstrom created the opportunity with a wrist shot into the mid-section of Montreal goaltender Carey Price. Sturm was there though and he hacked in the rebound to earn the first goal of his Washington career and to give the Capitals the 1-0 lead.

The Capitals out-shot the Canadiens 12-3 in what should have been a dominant performance, but Price looked capable of keeping Montreal in the game. He'll need some offensive support though if the Canadiens are going to stand a chance against this Washington team. He'll also need for his skaters to spend a bit more time out of the penalty box, as the Canadiens gave up three power plays to the Capitals in the first 20 minutes of play.

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Capitals Vs. Canadiens: Eric Fehr Returns, Braden Holtby To Start In Net

The Caps will take on the Montreal Canadiens tonight, and Bruce Boudreau will have some lineup shifting to do at multiple positions.

In net, Braden Holtby will start tonight due to Michal Neuvirth still suffering from an illness. When asked about possibly playing Semyon Varlamov, coach Boudreau said he did not want to play Varly in back to back games right after he had missed a month due to an injured groin.

The goal tender situation has certainly been a popular one among fans, as they want to figure out who should be the top two goalies going into the NHL playoffs. While some say it should certainly be Neuvirth and Varly, some fans are wondering if Holtby should get a shot.

In addition to the change in net , right winger Eric Fehr will return to the lineup as he still tries to get back into a groove after his shoulder injury.

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