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They're red hot: Capitals down Canadiens for ninth straight win

Mar 16, 2011 - 2:40 AM
Montreal, QC (Sports Network) - Marcus Johansson tallied two goals as the Washington Capitals remained one of the hottest teams in the NHL with a 4-2 win over Montreal at Bell Centre.

Brooks Laich and Mike Knuble also scored for the Capitals, who extended the league's current best streak to nine. Braden Holtby made 24 saves in the win.

It is Washington's longest run since taking 14 in a row from January 13- February 7, 2010. Despite the streak, the Capitals remain a point behind Eastern Conference leader Philadelphia, which defeated Florida for its 93rd point of the season.

"We played a good game," Johansson said. "We played it simple. It was hard for them to get any scoring chances when we play like that."

Travis Moen and Andrei Kostitsyn each lit the lamp for the Canadiens, who have lost two of three games on the heels of a five-game win streak. Carey Price yielded four goals on 41 shots in the loss.

"We weren't playing great," Canadiens right winger Brian Gionta said. "Price kept us in it. We didn't have the effort tonight. We were a step behind on everything. They were pressuring all over the ice and we were back on our heels."

Johansson scored his second goal to give Washington a 3-2 lead with 13:17 left in the game. Alex Ovechkin set up the score by racing down the left boards. He lost control of the puck, though, and it bounced off the back boards right to the front door step. But a trailing Johansson finished the play by chipping in the disc into the net.

Washington kept its winning streak by scoring the insurance goal, 4-2, with 3:07 left. Knuble finished Marco Sturm's feed on a 2-on-1 break on the power play and the Caps were able to hold onto the advantage the rest of the way.

It was an eventful opening two minutes which saw two goals, a reviewed no-goal and fight.

Washington struck first just 66 seconds in with Johansson's wrister on the power play and then Montreal answered right back 20 ticks later on Moen's fifth goal of the season.

With 17:54 showing on the clock, Matt Hendricks appeared to have put the Caps up again when he jammed the puck across the line as the net was pushed off its pegs. After a review of the play, it was determined that the net was dislodged before the disc crossed the line and it remained 1-1.

The game settled down after that and Washington took a 2-1 lead with 6:37 left in the period. Laich tallied the go-ahead goal using his speed, edging a defender, crossing in front of Price and curling the puck into the net.

Montreal knotted it up at two apiece 3 1/3 minutes into the second on Kostitsyn's quick release from the high slot.

Game Notes

Laich tallied his 100th career goal...Holtby was credited with an assist on Johansson's first goal. It was the first assist for a Washington goaltender this season...Montreal dropped to 21-9-6 as host this season...The Capitals set a franchise record sixth-straight road win... Montreal's Jeff Halpern and Thomas Plekanec both left in the second period with lower body injuries and did not return.