Monday, April 26, 2010 11:21 pm
By Joe Beninati
Sometimes all you can do is shake your head and wonder how in the world one player performs at such a remarkable level. Jaroslav Halak was the overwhelming reason why Montreal earned 4-1 decision over Washington tonight.He made a ridiculously good stop on Alex Semin in the first minute of the game and never looked back. As soon as he made two more stellar stops, shortly there after I was worried that he may be unbeatable tonight. But his effort managed to exceed my wildest imagination. That was one of the best goaltending performances I have seen in many moons.Michael Cammalleri scored twice on Semyon Varlamov before the game was ten minutes old. The first goal was a pretty snap shot. His second goal appeared to glance in off Boyd Gordon and underneath Varlamov. It was almost unimaginable to think the Caps would be in another two goal deficit when honestly I thought that they had a much better start tonight then the dismal opening to Game 5 at home.Once the first period was complete the Capitals dominated the remainder of regulation. The game was so one-sided it was hard to fathom that Halak could manage to compete at such a high level. Joe Corvo, Mike Green, Alex Ovechkin, all of them had golden scoring opportunities that were thwarted by the Montreal goalie.When Halak wasn't robbing someone, he would benefit from a great break on shots that hit the post. The Canadiens have managed to nullify the Capitals power play. Washington is a putrid 1-for-30 with the man advantage. Part of that is their own doing, but tonight Halak was the team's best penalty killer. And when he helped squash a 5-on-3 man advantage for over a minute, all the Caps could do is tip their caps.So this series comes down to a one game winner-take-all on Wednesday. Right now Montreal has the momentum and the all important super hot goalie. Sorry if I am a bit stunned that Washington's 3-1 lead in the series has gone up in smoke. You could make the argrument that the Caps didn't deserve that lead in the first place, but now they have to dig deep and summon all their talent and team chemistry just to survive round one.