Canadiens look to take 2-0 series lead over Capitals on TSN

The Sports Network

4/17/2010 3:34:47 PM

(Sports Network) - The Washington Capitals were the best team in the NHL during the regular season, but tonight they will try to avoid falling in a 2-0 series hole when they host the eighth-seeded Montreal Canadiens at Verizon Center for Game 2 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinals.

You can catch the game live on TSN and TSN HD, tonight at 7pm et/4pm pt.  You can also follow along on our live blog once the puck drops.

The top-seeded Capitals won the franchise's first Presidents' Trophy this year by setting franchise records in points (121) and wins (54), but Washington faltered in Game 1 of this best-of-seven series despite firing 47 shots on net.

Tomas Plekanec scored the game-winning goal 13:19 into overtime to lead the Canadiens to a 3-2 victory at Verizon Center. It was the first playoff win in two years for Montreal, which was swept by Boston in the opening round last spring.

Mike Cammalleri and Scott Gomez also scored for Montreal and Jaroslav Halak was outstanding with 45 saves in his first career postseason start.

"We played well and were able to capitalize on a few chances," said Cammalleri. "They have that skill level, but we weathered it, got some timely goals and came up with the big victory."

Joe Corvo and Nick Backstrom scored for the Capitals, who are attempting to improve on their playoff woes of a year ago when they lost to the eventual Stanley Cup champion Penguins in the conference semifinal round.

Jose Theodore, a former league MVP with the Habs, turned aside 35 shots in the losing effort.

Washington's superstar forward Alex Ovechkin was surprisingly held without an official shot on goal through 26-plus minutes of ice time.

"We didn't play our game the way we wanted to play it," said Ovechkin. "But it is just one game and now we have 24 hours to realize what we did wrong, make some changes and move forward."

Ovechkin, a two-time Hart Trophy winner, was tied for second in the league in points with 109 this season and his 50 goals placed him behind only Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby and Tampa Bay's Steven Stamkos, who each had 51 markers.

The Capitals also struggled at the start of last year's playoffs, falling behind 2-0 and 3-1 to the New York Rangers in the opening around before winning the series in seven games.

The Habs and Caps have never faced each other in the postseason before, but played a very tight season series this year. Each team won two games and only one of the four tilts was decided by more than one goal -- a 4-2 win by Washington on Jan. 5.

This series will shift to Montreal for Games 3 and 4, with the third meeting set for Monday at Bell Centre.

Washington was 30-5-6 at Verizon Center this year. The Canadiens were 19-17-5 in road games.