NHL Game Summary - Montreal at Washington
(Thursday, January 31st)
Final Score: Washington 5, Montreal 4 (OT)
Washington, DC (Sports Network) - Alex Ovechkin recorded his second career four-goal game and tallied the game-winner with 1:26 left in overtime, as the Washington Capitals split a home-and-home set against the Montreal Canadiens with a 5-4 win at the Verizon Center.
Ovechkin scored four goals earlier this season in an 8-6 win over the Ottawa Senators on December 29.
In the extra session, Mike Green's point shot deflected off a Montreal defender right to Jeff Schultz at the left circle. Schultz then kicked the puck to his stick and dished to Ovechkin in front for the tip in.
Viktor Kozlov posted a goal and two assists for the Capitals, who have won a season-high five straight at home. Ovechkin added an assist and Green collected two helpers, while Olaf Kolzig stopped 17-of-21 shots to earn the win.
"The way Ovie (Ovechkin) scored the goals today, he's pretty amazing," said Kozlov. "Alex's game is excellent. Hitting people, passing, scoring, I don't know what else forwards can do."
Guillaume Latendresse registered two goals and an assist for the Canadiens, who had a three-game winning streak halted. Sergei Kostitsyn had a goal and an assist, while Cristobal Huet allowed five goals on 38 shots in defeat.
"We just gave him (Ovechkin) too much room," said Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau.
Ovechkin recorded the fourth hat trick of his career with 7:30 to play in the third when he snapped a wrister from the top of the left circle through the legs of Montreal defenseman Mark Streit high over the glove of Huet. His tally gave the Capitals a 4-2 lead.
Latendresse answered 1:17 later on only the team's second shot of the period to make it a 4-3 game.
In the final minute, with Huet on the bench in favor of an extra skater, Latendresse knocked in a loose puck with 33 seconds remaining to send the game to overtime. Kolzig made a sprawling save and thought he had possession, but the puck was never covered and slid across the goal line, where Latendresse jammed it home.
The Capitals jumped out to a 1-0 lead with 6:54 remaining in the first. With the teams skating 4-on-4, Ovechkin, who was clipped up high by an errant Alex Kovalev stick and laid on the ice for several moments in the early stages of the game, completed a rink-wide give-and-go with a missile from the middle of the left circle that eluded Huet.
The tally was Ovechkin's 40th of the season, giving him three consecutive 40- goal campaigns, which ties Peter Bondra (1995-96 to '97-98) for the most consecutive 40-goal seasons in Capitals history.
Washington extended its lead to 2-0 at the 4:35 mark of the middle stanza. Kozlov got inside positioning on Montreal defenseman Andrei Markov at the front of the net, allowing him to tap in Ovechkin's feed from the bottom of the left circle.
Ovechkin, driving hard to the net, took a pass from Kozlov and roofed the puck on the short side to put the Capitals ahead 3-0 with 8:06 remaining.
Montreal responded 50 seconds later, as Latendresse's shot deflected off the stick of Washington's Alexander Semin right to Kostitsyn at the right side for an easy backdoor tap-in.
With the seconds dwindling down in the frame, the Canadiens struck again to make it 3-2 heading into the third. While on the power play, Kolzig kicked out Markov's hard shot from the point, but Andrei Kostitsyn slipped the rebound through the legs of the goaltender just before the horn sounded.
Huet made 35 saves to record his second shutout of the season and 15th of his career, as Montreal skated away with a 4-0 decision Tuesday at the Bell Centre...Washington split the season series against the Canadiens (2-2-0), with both wins coming in overtime...Washington finished the month of January with a 9-4-0 mark, while the Canadiens posted an 8-2-2 record...Kolzig continues to climb the ladder on the all-times wins list, moving into a tie with Mike Liut (294) for 24th place...The Kostitsyn brothers became the first siblings to score a goal in the same game for Montreal since Frank and Pete Mahovolich did it on April 14, 1974 against the New York Rangers in the playoffs...Montreal captain Saku Koivu played the 700th game of his NHL career...Washington has not lost consecutive games in regulation since Bruce Boudreau took over as head coach...Montreal begins a four-game homestand on Saturday against the Islanders, while the Capitals host Southeast Division-rival Atlanta on the same day.
02/01 02:06:44 ET