Capitals 3, Canadiens 0

Associated Press  |  Last updated January 18, 2012
Michal Neuvirth made 31 saves for his second shutout of the season and Alex Ovechkin scored his 19th goal on a power play midway through the second period to lift the Washington Capitals to a 3-0 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night. Mathieu Perreault and Marcus Johansson scored first-period goals for Washington, which bounced back from a 3-0 home loss to the New York Islanders on Tuesday to win for the third time in four games. Ovechkin drove a slap shot from the right point through traffic and past Carey Price for his 19th goal. Neuvirth, who made his first start in 11 games, recorded his sixth NHL shutout. It was his first since a 26-save effort in a 1-0 win in Winnipeg on Dec. 15. Price stopped 13 shots for Montreal, 4-10-1 in its past 15 games - the last 14 under interim coach Randy Cunneyworth. Washington's Matt Hendricks fought new Canadiens left wing Rene Bourque 1:15 in. Bourque, acquired in a multiplayer trade with Calgary on Thursday, was with the Flames when he was given a five-game NHL suspension for elbowing Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom in the head on Jan. 3. Backstrom missed his seventh straight game following the hit. Perreault opened the scoring with his fourth goal 4:41 in. He put a shot through Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges' legs on its way past Price. Johansson made it 2-0 at 8:23, snapping a wrist shot past Price's glove for his 10th goal. Bourque, who made his Montreal debut on Sunday after sitting out the final game of his suspension one night earlier, hit the top corner of the right post when he fired a shot during a 2-on-1 break in the second. Washington was called for four penalties in the third, including three on defenseman John Erskine 2:34 into the period. Erskine got four minutes for high-sticking Mathieu Darche in the face, and was also called for elbowing him. Montreal's six-minute power play was shortened when Max Pacioretty was sent off for interference at 5:19. NOTES: The Capitals improved to 4-0-1 in their last five games in Montreal. ... Washington is 10-2-2 in its last 14 regular-season games against the Canadiens. ... D Chris Campoli and C Petteri Nokelainen were left out of the Canadiens lineup.
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