Caps end 7-game skid with 5-0 win over Canadiens
- Associated Press
- January 25, 2014 - 9:15 PM
MONTREAL — Alex Ovechkin returned from an injury that sidelined him two games to start a four-goal second period as the Washington Capitals ended a seven-game winless run with a 5-0 victory over the slumping Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
John Erskine, Jay Beagle and John Carlson also scored in the middle period as the Capitals, who had scored only three goals in their four previous games, dominated the first half of the game and then shut Montreal down. The Canadiens have lost four in a row and five of six.
Casey Wellman, recalled Saturday from AHL Hershey, got his first goal of the season on a feed from Ovechkin on a 2-on-1 counterattack 8:38 into the third period.
Washington's Braden Holtby improved his record against Montreal to 5-0-0 with four shutouts.
Washington had a 26-3 edge in shots before Carlson's goal at 10:31 of the middle period chased goalie Carey Price in favor of backup Peter Budaj.
Ovechkin was back in the lineup after being sidelined with a lower-body injury. He fed Troy Brouwer on a power play for a shot that was disallowed when video review found it entered the net a fraction of a second after the first period ended.
The man-advantage had just ended in the second period when Jason Chimera's rebound appeared to be floating past the net. But Ovechkin tapped the puck twice in the air to keep it from getting away, then lifted it into an open side for his 36th of the season.
Less than two minutes later, Erskine saw his sliding pass go through a surprised Price's legs after P.K. Subban lifted Brooks Laich's stick in front of the net.
Beagle scored on a setup from Tom Wilson at 6:21, which got the Bell Centre crowd of 21,273 booing the home side, and Carlson added one on a long shot Price didn't see.
Daniel Briere finally got Montreal's fourth shot at 12:45 of the second.
The Capitals have won seven in a row at the Bell Centre since March 2011, and are 9-1-1 in their last 11 visits.
NOTES: There was a standing ovation in a pregame ceremony for Anthony Calvillo. The CFL's career passing leader retired earlier this week from the Montreal Alouettes. ... Montreal D Raphael Diaz was scratched for the fourth straight game. ... While Ovechkin returned, C Mikhail Grabovski sat out with a lower-body injury. ... Washington's Adam Oates coached his 100th game with the Capitals.
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