Fleischmann looking to earn a spot with Habs, has goal and assist in loss to Caps

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MONTREAL — Tomas Fleischmann wants to prove he deserves to play for the Montreal Canadiens.

In his first game with Montreal, the 31-year-old Fleischmann scored and added an assist in his team’s 4-3 pre-season shootout loss to the Washington Capitals on Thursday night.

The veteran forward is hoping to ink a deal with the Habs before the end of training camp.

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“The puck was following me tonight and my teammates helped a lot,” said Fleischmann, who played on a line with David Desharnais and Dale Weise. “I felt good. It’s not about points, it’s about how I play. I have 20 days to prove something, so every day is important to me.

“I worked hard, so hopefully it’s going to pay off.”

Down 2-0 in the first, Fleischmann brought the Canadiens to within one at 14:20. The Czech Republic native, who played with the Capitals from 2005 to 2011, beat goalie Braden Holtby on his backhand from a tight angle.

Later, after Alex Ovechkin made it 3-2 for the Caps in the second, Fleischmann found Desharnais at the side of the net for the equalizer at 14:14 of the second.

Fleischmann finished the game with his two points and four shots in 20:15 of work. Head coach Michel Therrien used him on both the power play and penalty kill.

“He has experience, and he’s able to play in various situations,” said Therrien. “We know what type of player he is and we have to be able to learn more about him and eventually make a decision.”

After a scoreless overtime period — Montreal got its first taste of the new 3-on-3 set up — Washington’s T.J. Oshie scored the lone goal in the shootout.


Oshie, Andre Burakovsky and Ovechkin scored for the Capitals (2-0-1) in regulation time.

The game featured the much-anticipated line of Lars Eller on the left wing, Alex Galchenyuk at centre and new signing Alexander Semin on the right.

Galchenyuk scored an unassisted goal for the Canadiens (0-0-2). The line made up of three first-round draft picks combined for one goal on seven shots.

“We got some chances and made some plays, even though some of them didn’t work out,” said Galchenyuk of his new linemates. “It’s only the beginning, but it was good to get out there.”

Burakovsky and Oshie scored for the Capitals in the first period before Fleischmann and Galchenyuk answered back.


Montreal made the most of its few chances in the first period, scoring twice on three shots.

The Montreal power play, which was ineffective for much of last season, finished 1 for 5.

Dustin Tokarski made 19 saves on 22 shots before being replaced by Mike Condon midway through the encounter. Condon was solid, stopping all 21 shots he faced.

Washington’s Holtby allowed three goals on 14 shots after two periods. Dan Ellis stopped nine shots in the third and another three in overtime.

“I didn’t do a good enough job, but luckily Ellis bailed us out afterwards,” said Holtby.


Half of Montreal’s regular starters, including Carey Price, Brendan Gallagher and Tomas Plekanec, did not dress for the encounter

Notes: Charles Hudon, Connor Crisp and Brett Lernout made their first career appearances for the Canadiens. … Captain Max Pacioretty (knee) skated with his teammates for the first time at practice Thursday morning.

Kelsey Patterson, The Canadian Press

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