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NHL Game Summary - Washington at Montreal



(Saturday, January 5th)

Final Score: Washington 5, Montreal 4 (OT)

Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Mike Green scored the overtime winner to lift the Washington Capitals to a 5-4 victory over the Montreal Canadiens at the Bell Centre.

Green also picked up a pair of assists and Alexander Ovechkin added two goals for the Capitals, who have won three of their last four games. Boyd Gordon and Nicklas Backstrom also scored goals in the victory and Olaf Kolzig made 23 saves.

Tomas Plekanec notched a goal and two assists for Montreal, which has earned at least a point in five straight games (3-0-2). Alexei Kovalev chipped in a goal and an assist, while Carey Price stopped 24 shots in defeat.

Michael Nylander started the play on the winning goal with a pass from the left circle to the right circle for Green, who simply redirected the puck past Price for his 11th goal at the 1:27 mark of the extra period.

Nylander finished the game with two assists.

Washington carried a 3-2 lead into the third period, but Montreal tied it just over two minutes into the stanza when Roman Hamrlik knocked in a rebound from the left side of the crease for his third goal.

Ovechkin again put the Capitals in front at the 6:38 mark, firing a wrist shot home from the slot with three Montreal defenders around him. The Canadiens again knotted it just under five minutes later when Kovalev scored his 18th of the season on a short-side wrist shot from the edge of the left circle.

The Capitals nearly took the lead late in regulation when Ovechkin's backhander from in close hit Price and went off the crossbar.

"Anytime Alex shoots the puck, it has a chance to go in," said Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau.

Montreal grabbed a 1-0 lead just 2:38 into the contest with a power-play goal from Plekanec. Kovalev faked a shot from the left circle to draw Kolzig out of the crease and instead whipped a pass to the low right circle for Plekanec, who deposited the puck into the cage for his 13th goal of the season.

Kolzig, though, kept his team in the game with 10 stops during the opening stanza. He stoned Maxim Lapierre on a short-handed breakaway midway through the period and caught a break in the final minute when Saku Koivu hit the post on a 2-on-1 chance.

"One of our leaders came in after the first period and gave us hell," said Boudreau. "We had a game plan, some of us were on it, some weren't. They needed a kick in the butt. Then everyone got on the same page in the second."

Andrei Kostitsyn made it 2-0 at 7:27 of the second with a dynamite individual effort. After taking a pass from Plekanec, Kostitsyn skated into the Washington zone and stickhandled neatly past Green before ripping a shot past Kolzig's blocker for his 11th goal.

The Caps, however, tied it with two goals in the middle of the period.

Ovechkin got Washington on the board with his 31st of the season at the 8:31 mark, snapping a shot from the top of the right circle after a clean faceoff win by Nylander. Backstrom got the equalizer just over three minutes later with a rising shot from the slot past Price on the glove side.

Washington's surge continued with 1:09 left in the second period, as Gordon scored his fourth of the season with a blistering slap shot from the right point.

"I thought the first period was strong for us," said Koivu. "We let down in the second and came back to tie before overtime. We have to give credit to their team. They have young players who have skills and [they] stuck to their game plan."

Game Notes

The Capitals have won each of their four games in Canada this season by a combined score of 24-12. They previously beat Toronto 7-1 and Ottawa twice by scores of 4-1 and 8-6...Kovalev has already matched his 2006-07 season total of 18 goals...Hamrlik broke a 21-game goal drought...Montreal is just 7-7-5 as the host this season and will conclude a three-game homestand on Tuesday against Chicago...Washington will open a five-game homestand on Wednesday against Colorado.

01/05 17:29:54 ET


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