'Caps down Habs 4-1

Joel Ward #42 of the Washington Capitals celebrates after scoring a goal against the Montreal...

Joel Ward #42 of the Washington Capitals celebrates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens during the third period at Verizon Centre on February 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images/AFP)

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, Last Updated: 11:18 PM ET

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Michal Neuvirth stopped 30 shots to help the Washington Capitals take a much-needed 4-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens.

Jason Chimera had a goal and an assist while Joel Ward, Alex Ovechkin and Mathieu Perreault both scored for the Capitals, who had dropped six of seven coming in.

"Whenever you get the first goal that is the start that you want," said Washington head coach Dale Hunter. "We've had problems with that lately and to get the first one tonight was big."

Rene Bourque broke a long scoreless streak that Montreal suffered against Washington, but it wasn't enough to keep the Habs from losing for the fifth time in their past six games. Carey Price was tagged for three goals on 23 shots.

"We knew they were going to come at us hard in front of their crowd," said Montreal forward Erik Cole. "I thought we played good in the third period, but it was way too late by then."

Washington held a 3-0 lead heading into the third and had held Montreal off the scoreboard for 260 minutes and 14 seconds, but Bourque broke that drought when he finished off a nice tic-tac-toe play with a slam at the right side 3:42 in on the penalty kill.

That was it though, as the Canadiens were unable to get any closer and Ward's empty-netter in the final minute sealed the win.

Just 6:58 into the first, the Caps scored when Jason Chimera sent a bouncing pass from the left boards to the low right side where Perreault swiped it in.

Goals separated by just 16 seconds in the second period gave the Caps a 3-0 lead.

The first came on a breakaway from Chimera that saw his low backhand swallowed up by the pads of Price, but the goaltender had been going backwards when he made the stop and his momentum carried him and the puck across the goalline at the 8:42 mark.

Moments later, Dmitry Orlov grabbed a drop pass from Marcus Johansson in the slot and sent the puck over to the left circle where Ovechkin one-timed it home for his 25th of the year.

Game Notes

The Capitals had recorded three consecutive shutouts against Montreal coming into the game, including two this season. The Caps have won five straight, overall, against the Habs...Washington plays in Toronto on Saturday...Montreal plays in Florida on Sunday.


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