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2018 Olympic Men's Hockey Results: Slovenia comes back to stun United States in OT

2018 Olympic Men's Hockey Results: Slovenia comes back to stun United States in OT

By STEPHEN WHYNO

GANGNEUNG, South Korea -- Jan Mursak scored the tying goal in the final minutes of regulation and the winner in overtime as Slovenia came back to stun the United States 3-2 Wednesday night at Kwandong Hockey Centre in each team's Olympic opener.

Mursak, Slovenia's only player with NHL experience, scored with goaltender Gasper Kroselj pulled for the extra attacker with 1:37 left in the third period and scored the winner 38 seconds into overtime. As Mursak's shot went past goaltender Ryan Zapolski, U.S. players hung their heads on the bench before Slovenia players celebrated with their fans.

It wasn't the only surprise of the night, though the U.S. like all the other teams is playing without NHL players for the first time since 1994. Across town, the favored Russians opened Olympic play with a 3-2 loss to Slovakia.

Zapolski allowed three goals on 25 shots, including the first goal by Jan Urbas. Kroselj stopped 34 of the 36 shots he faced to pick up the victory, giving up goals to Brian O'Neill and Jordan Greenway.

After a feeling-out period in the first few minutes and American defenseman Noah Welch sliding in front of a wide-open net for the save of the game, the U.S. began drawing penalties with its speed and then found a way to cash in. Forward Garrett Roe flew down the left wing and dished the puck to a waiting O'Neill to give the U.S. a 1-0 lead 17:44 in.

Kroselj made a handful of quality saves to keep Slovenia in the game, and Zapolski had to do the same in the second period, stopping Urbas on a one-timer with Greenway in the box and the U.S. on the penalty kill.

Greenway, who was noticeably frustrated when he was denied on a point-blank chance early, made up for it with a heads-up play that made it 2-0. Defenseman Bobby Sanguinetti's initial shot pinballed off O'Neill in front and Greenway sped to the net to put home the rebound 12:57 into the second.

The U.S. doubled up Slovenia in shots after two but couldn't pull away and increase its margin of error. It became razor thin 5:49 into the third when Gregorc beat Zapolski to get Slovenia on the board.

With captain Brian Gionta off for tripping, the U.S. got a couple of scares when Slovenia hit the post early on the power play and then almost scored moments later. With 1:37 left, Mursak scored from in front when playing 6-on-5. That goal forced overtime, where Slovenia continued to ride its momentum.

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Capitals Injury updates: Braden Holtby a possibility to start in Montreal

Capitals Injury updates: Braden Holtby a possibility to start in Montreal

The Capitals were able to pull out a win Friday in Colorado without Evgeny Kuznetsov, T.J. Oshie or Braden Holtby. With a game Monday in Montreal, the team hopes it will not be quite as shorthanded against the Canadiens.

Washington practiced Sunday in Montreal and three goalies took to the ice. Holtby was on the ice along with Pheonix Copley and Ilya Samsonov 

Holtby suffered an upper-body injury Wednesday morning prior to the game in Winnipeg. That injury kept him out of the lineup both Wednesday and Friday. The Caps netminder told Chris Kuc of The Atlantic that he is ready to play, but still needs to be cleared by doctors.

Head coach Todd Reirden said after practice that Holtby was a possibility to start Monday.

With Holtby’s status still up in the air, Samsonov remains with the team in case he is needed to suit up as a backup.

While Holtby was on the ice for practice, both Kuznetsov and Oshie were not. Reirden told the media that both players are day-to-day and are with the team in Montreal. Their status for Monday remains uncertain.

With no Kuznetsov or Oshie, Reirden kept the offensive lines largely the same from Friday except for switching Devante Smith-Pelly to the third line and moving Brett Connolly down to the fourth.

Alex Ovechkin – Lars Eller – Tom Wilson 
Jakub Vrana – Nicklas Backstrom – Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson – Travis Boyd – Devante Smith-Pelly
Dmitrij Jaskin – Nic Dowd – Brett Connolly

Reirden switched up the lines frequently on Friday and Stephenson, Boyd, Smith-Pelly combined for a goal in the second period.

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Capitals vs. Canadiens: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

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Capitals vs. Canadiens: Time, TV Channel, Live Stream, How to Watch

When the Capitals traveled to Montreal to face the Canadiens earlier this month, they suffered one of their toughest losses of the season, allowing three goals in the final three-plus minutes of the third period, falling 6-4 in devastating fashion.

The Caps will be looking for revenge on Monday evening, as they get their first crack at the Canadiens since that devastating loss.

Alex Ovechkin enjoys playing against the Canadiens. In 47 games against Montreal in his career, Ovechkin has 51 points (29 goals and 22 assists), including a two-goal performance in their meeting earlier this season.

Here is everything you need to know about Capitals vs. Canadiens which takes place Monday at 7:30 p.m. ET on NBC Sports Washington.

CAPITALS at CANADIENS: HOW TO WATCH

What: Washington Capitals vs. Montreal Canadiens, Game 20 of the 2018-19 NHL Regular Season

Where: Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

When: Monday, November 19, 7:30 p.m. ET

TV Channel: Capitals vs. Canadiens will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington. (NBC Sports Washington channel Finder)

Live Stream: You can watch the Capitals at the Canadiens on the new MyTeams by NBC Sports App.

Radio: Caps Radio 24/7, 106.7 The Fan, 1500 AM

CAPITALS at CANADIENS TV SCHEDULE

6:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live
7:00 PM: Caps Pregame Live
7:30 PM: Capitals at Montreal Canadiens
10:00 PM: Caps Postgame Live
10:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live

CAPITALS at CANADIENS PLAYERS TO WATCH

Max Domi, LW, Canadiens: In 20 games, Domi has recorded a point in all but three of them. His 24 points are tied for the ninth-most in the NHL.

Alex Ovechkin, LW, Capitals: Ovechkin loves playing against the Canadiens, as he has totaled 51 points in 47 career games against Montreal. In their first meeting this season, he netted two goals in the 6-4 loss.

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