The first time the Caps hosted the Montreal Canadiens this season, Alex Ovechkin tallied four goals as the Caps dominated in a 6-1 thrashing.
Friday's game featured considerably less offense as Montreal just managed to squeak by Washington 3-2.
Philipp Grubuaer got the start and did everything he could to keep Washington in it, but the Caps struggled to find much offense.
Alex Ovechkin did manage to register assist No. 499 as he set up John Carlson on the power play and Lars Eller scored late, but it would not be enough for the Caps to come back.
Here are the three stars of the game.
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1. Max Pacioretty: The Canadiens struggled to get anything past Grubauer in this one, but Pacioretty finally did in the second period on the power play. It was simple enough, he found the puck at his feet, turned and shot.
When goalies start to frustrate teams, we see a lot of players respond by looking for the perfect play and give up good opportunities for more difficult passes. Pacioretty was smart, he just shot. He also added an assist on Paul Byron's goal as the puck bounced off the board and off Pacioretty's skate right to Byron.
He ultimately put the exclamation point on the win with an empty-net goal as well to complete a three-point night.
2. Philipp Grubauer: Grubauer certainly didn't look like a backup goalie in this one. He was strong in net all night long, but his best save came in the first period. Pacioretty hit the side of the net to Grubauer's left on a pretty passing play, but the puck bounced out to the slot and Charles Hudon passed it over to Paul Byron on Grubauer's right. Grubauer dove with his arm outstretched and managed to corral the puck into his body to keep it out of the net.
He would finish the game with several more fantastic saves, 23 in all despite the loss.
3. Andre Burakovsky: It would be hard to draw up a better return to the lineup for Burakovsky.
He started on the fourth line, but he wasn't there for long. He had four shot attempts in a first period in which the Caps struggled to get anything going offensively at all. He also had a breakaway opportunity in the third period as he came out of the penalty box. He had Antti Niemi beat, but hit the post.
It was the second time Burakovsky struck iron in the game. Hedid just about everything right, but just couldn't light the lamp.