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NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Washington

(Thursday, December 20th)

Final Score: Montreal 5, Washington 2

Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Guillaume Latendresse scored twice, leading the Montreal Canadiens to a 5-2 win over the Washington Capitals.

Cristobal Huet stopped 35 shots for the Canadiens, who have won three of four. Alexei Kovalev had two assists for Montreal, and Tomas Plekanec, Siarhei Kastsitsyn, and Mark Streit also scored.

"We capitalized on our chances. They tried to force everything, throwing the puck at the net all night," said Huet. "For the most part we were able to do a good job."

Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and an assist for the Capitals, who have dropped two straight and three of four. Alexander Semin also scored, and Olaf Kolzig made only 16 saves for Washington.

Latendresse's power-play score got the Canadiens on the board with only 1:45 left in the first period. He took the feed in front from Saku Koivu, who flipped the puck to him from behind the net, and ripped it past Kolzig.

Plekanec pushed the lead to 2-0 with his 11th goal of the season, 6:33 into the second period. The Caps got one back, though, when Backstrom scored on the power play to cut the deficit in half a little less than three minutes later.

Latendresse put Montreal back up by two when wristed a shot past Kolzig from the top of the left circle for a 3-1 lead with 2:54 to play in the second period.

Kastsitsyn's goal, the first of his career, all but sealed the win for Montreal. Kastsitsyn flipped the puck on net from the right circle and Kolzig, shielded by Koivu, couldn't see the puck as it slid past him and in for a 4-1 Canadiens lead with 10:26 left in regulation.

Semin cut the deficit to 4-2 with his goal less then a minute later, but the Caps could not draw any closer and Streit's tally with 1:21 to play capped the scoring.

"It's a few mental errors that cost us," said Caps defenseman Mike Green. "You can't sit back with this team, they're a very talented team. The two or three times we did sit back, they capitalized."

Game Notes

The Capitals have outshot 16 of their last 18 opponents...The Canadiens scored twice in the second period despite registering only five shots...Montreal converted 2-of-5 power plays, while the Caps scored on 1-of-4 power play chances.

12/21 00:14:45 ET

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