Despite a late third-period comeback attempt, the NHL-leading Capitals lost to the Habs, 13th in the Eastern Conference, by a final score of 4-3 on Wednesday, prompting star Alex Ovechkin to deliver a frank assessment afterward.
“We thought it was going to be an easy game, but we can’t play like that,” Ovechkin told CSN Mid-Atlantic.
Capitals goalie Braden Holtby was pulled after allowing three goals on 18 shots. He didn’t appear pleased about it, either, although that’s to be expected. After two penalties in the first period, Tom Wilson was benched for most of the second period, appearing in only one shift in the middle frame.
“Sometimes you have to pull your goaltender,” Capitals head coach Barry Trotz told NHL.com about pulling Holtby.
“It wasn’t [Holtby] on any of those goals. We couldn’t get it changed on our bench, the thought process. Sometimes trying to do that will give them a little shock. They realized they didn’t play well in front of him.”
Condon made 33 saves — including this spectacular behind-the-back blocker stop in the second period — for the win. The Habs are five points back of Pittsburgh for the final Wild Card spot in the East.