Holtby, Caps blank Canadiens
Montreal, QC (SportsNetwork.com) - Braden Holtby posted 21 saves for his second shutout of the season as the Washington Capitals thumped the Montreal Canadiens, 5-0, on Saturday.
Alex Ovechkin had a goal and an assist, while John Erskine, Casey Wellman, John Carlson and Jay Beagle all scored for the Capitals, who snapped a seven- game losing streak.
"It's exciting to win in this building, especially after dominating the first period," said Ovechkin. "They took too many penalties and gave us a lot of shots on net."
It was the longest losing skid for the Capitals since an 0-6-2 run from Dec. 2-18, 2010.
Carey Price was chased from the net halfway through the second period after allowing four goals on 26 shots for the Canadiens, who have dropped four straight. Peter Budaj stopped 7-of-8 shots in relief.
"This was a tough game because we were making too many mental mistakes," said Price. "Our support wasn't good enough and we need to battle better as a team. Right now, we're not doing that."
The first period passed without a goal, but the Capitals lit the lamp four times in the second frame to take control.
Ovechkin scored the first goal of the frame as a rebound was going behind the net to the left, but the league's leading goal-scorer showed some deft hands, as he popped the airborne puck off his stick to the front and snuck it in for his 36th of the season.
Just 1:21 later, Erskine's soft shot from the high slot found its way between the goaltender's pads for his first of the campaign.
At 6:21, the Caps made it a 3-0 game. Mike Green sent a hard pass from the right circle to the left for Tom Wilson, who sent it to the low right side where Beagle backhanded it in for his first of the season.
Just past the midway mark, Carlson got in on the scoring as his simple shot from the high slot hit a Canadien in front and floated over the glove of Price, prompting a goaltender change.
The Capitals made it a 5-0 game at 8:38 of the third, as a 2-on-1 saw Ovechkin send a pass from the right to the left where Wellman one-timed it home.
Washington plays in Buffalo on Tuesday ... Montreal hosts Carolina on Tuesday ... Washington won two of the three games against Montreal this season ... Holtby has nine shutouts in his career ... Washington failed on all eight of its power play chances, as did Montreal on its three.
01/25 22:48:34 ET