Mikhail Grabovski's game-tying goal
Mikhail Grabovski and Eric Fehr made quite the team on Friday night.
In the Capitals 3-2 shootout win over the Montreal Canadiens, both Grabovski and Fehr found themselves involved in each of the team's two regulation goals. Then, as overtime shifted to a shootout, both players scored to leave Braden Holtby a chance to take it home.
Caps head coach Adam Oates credited them for a specific turning point in the game, Washington's first goal to tie it at 1-1 in the second period.
"They got a goal in the second and it gave them a little bit of life," Oates said. "It’s amazing how when you do get some results, everything seems to click and fall your way... that puts the other team on their heels and your team gains momentum because of that."
The goal came at the 5:17 mark in the period and was a bit of a lucky break for the Caps. Canadiens' goalie Peter Budaj skated out of position as he tracked the puck behind his net. He appeared to not see Grabovski who moved along the boards to get possession and turn around to make a play. Fehr was approaching the front of the net and turned a perfect feed from Grabovski into a layup goal.
The goal was Fehr's second in consecutive games and his third of the season. It was just his third game back from a three-week absence, nine games without seeing the ice. Oates is happy with Fehr's response since coming back.
"He was ready to get back in and provided a spark for us. He’s played good."
Fehr was just happy to help his team.
"It feels pretty good obviously to contribute," he said. "I’m just trying to help in any way I can. Whether it’s scoring, playing good D or helping out on the penalty kill, I’m just trying to do whatever they ask."
Fehr and Grabo teamed up for another equalizing goal, the second in the third period to send the game to overtime. This time Fehr was the delivery man for Grabovski who deposited a snapshot through the legs of Budaj with four and a half minutes to play in regulation. Fehr corralled a loose puck to the left of the net and found Grabovski skating up the middle.
Oates, who said his team was playing too flashy recently, appreciated Grabovski making this one count.
"Good player. Stops where he’s supposed to stop and releases the puck and scores," Oates said. "Not really a fancy goal, but it is just because the guys had executed and did their jobs. The better we get at that, the better chance we have for success."
Grabovski and Fehr spoke of their shared success after the game.
"He’s a great player, an unbelievable player. It’s easy for me to play with him," Grabovski said. "Every game is bringing better chemistry."
"He’s a pretty easy guy to play with" Fehr said. "He protects the puck so well and he hangs on to it well and lets you get open. You don’t feel like you have to go help him very often. He’s strong on it. He’s done a great job and he’s really helped me get a lot more comfortable out there."