NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Washington
(Tuesday, December 23rd)
Final Score: Washington 3, Montreal 2
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Peter Bondra scored the winning goal with 54 seconds remaining to lift the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 victory over Montreal at the MCI Center.
Olaf Kolzig made 38 saves for the Capitals, who won for just the second time in their last eight home games (2-4-1-1). Jaromir Jagr had a goal and an assist for Washington.
Michael Ryder scored the game-tying goal for Montreal midway through the third period, as the Canadiens had their two-game winning streak against the Caps snapped. Mathieu Garon stopped 19 shots for Montreal.
Bondra scored the game-winner on a rebound off a Dwayne Zinger slap shot from the blue line. Zinger got credit for an assist on the play for the first point of his NHL career.
Ryder tied the game at 2-2 for Montreal when he slammed home a rebound attempt at the 8:24 mark.
Prior to Ryder's game-tying tally, Jeff Halpern made it 2-1 Washington when he chased down a Jagr pass and skated past the crease and slipped the puck under Garon's legs at the 4:56 mark.
Canadiens forward Mike Ribeiro, who missed a wide-open goal in Montreal's win over Pittsburgh the previous night, clanged the post with a wrister in the first minute of the third period.
Jan Bulis nullified the missed opportunity for the Canadiens two minutes later when he took a pass from Saku Koivu and buried a wrister past Kolzig to tie it at 1-1.
Kolzig stopped all 11 shots he faced in the first period, while Garon denied all six of the Caps' scoring opportunities.
Jagr gave Washington a 1-0 lead 5:37 into the second period on the power play, when he took a pass from Dainius Zubrus and lifted a wrister over Garon's shoulder on his glove side. The tally was Jagr's 13th of the season.
Jagr had an opportunity to extend the Caps' advantage with seven minutes left in the period, as he used a Montreal defenseman to screen Garon to get his wrister off. But his shot went wide of the goal by only a few inches.
Kolzig had another busy period, as he stopped double-digit shots, this time 14 in the second 20.
Washington was 1-for-2 on the power-play, while Montreal was 1-for-7 with the extra skater...The Canadiens only managed to take five shots in their first five power-play opportunities...Sergei Gonchar's assist on the game's first goal was his fifth in the last three contests...Francis Bouillon assisted on both of Montreal's goals...The Caps improved to 5-8-1-1 at home this season, while the Habs fell to 7-8-1-1 on the road this year.
12/23 21:55:58 ET