Ovechkin scores 26th as Capitals down Canadiens 3-2
Washington Capitals' Alex Ovechkin celebrates a goal against the Montreal Canadiens by teammate Jack Hillen during third period NHL hockey action Tuesday, April 9, 2013 in Montreal. The Capitals beat the Canadiens 3-2. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
Bill Beacon, The Canadian Press
Published Tuesday, April 9, 2013 10:45PM EDT
MONTREAL -- Alex Ovechkin scored his 26th goal of the season and Jack Hillen got his first as the Washington Capitals stretched their winning run to five games with a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.
Eric Fehr also scored for the Southwest Division-leading Capitals (21-17-2), who are 6-0-1 in their last seven. They are a perfect 5-0 in April, during which Ovechkin has eight goals and Nicklas Backstrom, who had two assists, has 11 points, all assists.
Lars Eller scored both goals for Montreal (25-9-5), which saw its two-game winning run snapped and lost for only the second time in seven games.
It was Montreal's first loss to a Southeast team (11-1-0) in 2013, but the Capitals always play well at the Bell Centre, where they are 6-0-1 in their last seven visits.
The Capitals owned the puck in the first six minutes and got the first nine shots on goal, but Carey Price made a succession of big saves for the Habs.
It was Montreal that struck first as Alex Galchenyuk led a rush that saw Brandon Prust feed Eller in front to beat Michal Neuvirth for his fifth goal at 15:44.
Ovechkin worked some magic at 7:50 of the second as he slipped past Michael Ryder and fired a medium-speed shot through traffic that looked to dip as it evaded Price's glove.
A long period of fourth-line pressure ended with Fehr being credited with poking the puck in as Hillen's shot went up in the air off Price and landed behind him in the crease at 9:36.
That goal was originally credited to Hillen, but he made up for that 9:36 into the third when his point shot went off a body in front and beat Price.
The officials let a few would-be obstruction fouls go and that had the 21,273 in the seats booing for much of the third period as the home side tried to mount a comeback.
That changed to cheers as Eller got his second of the night with 3:22 left to play as he tipped Nathan Beaulieu's point shot.