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Braden Holtby outshines Carey Price in brilliant win over Canadiens

Braden Holtby outshines Carey Price in brilliant win over Canadiens

Braden Holtby was brilliant again for the Caps, allowing only one goal in a 4-1 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Monday.

How it happened: Alex Ovechkin faked a slap shot from the point  then fired a wrister on net. Carey Price made the save, but Nicklas Backstrom was right in front to hit in the rebound to give the Caps the 1-0 lead. That lead would stand until the 7:18 point in the third period when Tomas Plekanec took advantage of a scrum in front of Braden Holtby to tie the game at one. Evgeny Kuznetsov, however, responded less than one minute later. Kuznetsov forced a turnover in center ice from Max Pacioretty then deked defenseman Jeff Petry out of his skates before finishing the play with a shot over the blocker for the goal. Kuznetsov forced another turnover behind the net which he fed to Brett Connolly who wristed in the insurance tally. Ovechkin's power play goal later in the third salted away the win.

What it means: The win moves Washington into a three-way tie in the standings with the Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Rangers at 57 points for second-place in the Metropolitan Division. The Caps have won six in a row tying their longest win streak of the season. They are now 13-2-2 in their last 17 games. This was the team’s first win over Montreal this season after losing 2-1 at Verizon Center on Dec. 17. Washington is 17-4-4 in their last 20 games against Montreal and 8-3-0 this season against teams from Canada.

Turning point: Montreal was dominated for much of the game, but they pulled even in the third period thanks to Plekanec's goal. Kuznetsov's tally came less than a minute later to suck all the life out of Montreal and the Bell Centre. That's a great response by the Caps and by Kuznetsov who has struggled finding the back of the net for much of the season. 

Holy Holtby: Holtby allowed three goals in the first period against the Toronto Maple Leafs on Tuesday and was pulled from the game. He did not allow a goal until the third period of Monday's game for a career-long shutout streak of 169:12. He finished the game with 22 saves. For those curious, the record for most consecutive shutouts is five held by Brian Boucher in 2003-04.

Tough homecoming: Lars Eller no doubt wanted to have a good game in his return to Montreal. He did manage two shots on goal, but he also took the third period interference penalty that led to the Canadiens' only goal of the game.

One to go: Ovechkin had a three point night with one goal and two assists. The were career points Nos. 997, 998 and 999. He now sits just one away from 1,000 points, a feat that has only been accomplished by 83 players in NHL history.

Look ahead: The Caps return to Washington to face a gauntlet schedule as they host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday, the Chicago Blackhawks on Friday and the Philadelphia Flyers on Sunday. They then hit the road for a three-game swing starting with a rematch with the Penguins on Monday.

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Jonas Siegenthaler moving to North America for the upcoming season

Jonas Siegenthaler moving to North America for the upcoming season

One of the biggest questions about Capitals prospect Jonas Siegenthaler is how he will adjust to the North American game. The good news is he should have plenty of time to work on it in the 2017-18 season.

Siegenthaler told CSN Mid-Atlantic on Wednesday that he will make the full-time switch from Europe to North America for the upcoming season.

Siegenthaler, 20, spent the majority of the past two seasons playing in his native Switzerland. Adjusting to the North American game is something all European players have to deal with, but questions about Siegenthaler’s ability to do so have sprung up after his brief stings with the Hershey Bears.

RELATED: Williams, Caps aren't having 'in-depth discussions'

“Here it's a lot quicker,” Siegenthaler said, comparing the North American game to what he is used to in Europe. “You can't always look for a good, nice pass. Sometimes you just have to rim it or chip it out. That's the biggest difference. You don't do that in Europe. That's what I have to learn.”

Siegenthaler was a standout during the 2016 World Junior Championship tournament playing for Switzerland. He is one of the Capitals’ most highly touted prospects, but he has not been able to show that potential in his time in Hershey. It also did not help that he was dealing with a family issue during Capitals’ training camp in 2016.

There is no better way to adjust to the North American game than to play it full-time. That makes the move to Hershey for next season the best thing for Siegenthaler's development. It also puts added pressure on him in development camp where he can work with the Caps’ and Bears’ coaching staff.

“It's pretty important,” Siegenthaler said. “It's a new chance to show what I can do, how I play."

MORE CAPITALS: What does the Copley deal mean for Grubauer?

Check out the latest episode of the Capitals Faceoff Podcast!

Like what you hear? Be sure to subscribe on Apple podcastsAudioboom and Google Play and give us a good review! Maybe we'll even read it on the air. For the latest Caps coverage be sure to follow @CSNCapitals@TarikCSN and @JJReganCSN on Twitter.

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Did the Caps make the right move with T.J. Oshie?

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Capitals Faceoff Podcast: Did the Caps make the right move with T.J. Oshie?

JJ Regan and Tarik El-Bashir disagree about whether the new deal with T.J. Oshie was the right move for the Caps. Plus, they talk about the team's other free agents, how they will address their need for a top-four defenseman, talk about who they like from development camp and open up the mailbag for your questions.

Like what you hear? Be sure to subscribe on Apple podcastsAudioboom and Google Play and give us a good review! Maybe we'll even read it on the air. For the latest Caps coverage be sure to follow @CSNCapitals@TarikCSN and @JJReganCSN on Twitter.

RELATED: Williams, Caps aren't having 'in-depth discussions'