Capitals proving to be a contender with 4-2 win over Habs

MONTREAL, CANADA - MARCH 15: Carey Price #31 of the Montreal Canadiens stops the puck on an attempt by Eric Fehr #16 of the Washington Capitals during the NHL game at the Bell Centre on March 15, 2011 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. (Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)

Despite missing some of their key players, the Washington Capitals won their ninth straight game with a 4-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens.

Marcus Johansson had two goals on the night, his 10th and 11th goals of the season. The Capitals rookie, and touted center of the future, now has a four-game point streak and at least a point in five of his last six games.

Washington pelted 41 shots at Carey Price, who kept the Canadiens in the game during the second period, where he made 19 saves. The Canadiens goaltender was a victim of a bad bounce off the Bell Centre glass in the first period that led to Johansson's first goal. The game could have been a lot worse if not for Price and a blown missed goal and review.

Travis Moen and Andrei Kostitsyn were the goal scorers for Montreal, but any chance of a comeback were thwarted when 38-year old Mike Knuble beat Price on a two-on-one in the dying seconds of a Capitals power play.

Penalties were one of the key problems on the night for the Canadiens, who allowed two Washington goals while shorthanded. The Capitals had five power play opportunities, to Montreal's three. The Habs last chance with the man advantage was cut short on a penalty to Lars Eller that eventually led to Knuble's goal.

Injuries were the second concern for the Canadiens. Tomas Plekanec and Jeff Halpern, both key players on the penalty kill, both left the game in the second period and did not return.

The Canadiens remain in sixth place, but lost some ground in the Eastern Conference Standings, with four teams ahead of them picking up wins tonight, and the trailing New York Rangers moving up two points.

The Habs host Vincent LeCavalier and the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday.

Max Pacioretty returns: Max Pacioretty, out for the season after a devastating hit from the Bell Centre stanchion last week, stated on his Twitter account that he would attend tonight's game. Fans also rallied in Centennial Plaza, prior to the game, to show their support for Pacioretty as well as pushing for an end to violent hits in the game. Approximately 1000 people signed a petition that will be sent to NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman.


Capitals coverage from Japers' Rink

Three Stars: 1. Marcus Johansson 2. Carey Price 3. Andrei Kostitsyn

Numbers Game

The Game within: Shift Charts | Head to Head | Corsi/Fenwick

Scoring Summary

  First period
01:06 WSH Marcus Johansson, 10 (PP) (Dennis Wideman, 29 Braden Holtby, 1) (WSH: 22 6 16 74 70 90   MTL: 44 22 21 31 58)
01:26 MTL Travis Moen, 5 (WSH: 22 18 6 55 70 90   MTL: 44 11 21 32 20 31)
13:23 WSH Brooks Laich, 16 (Karl Alzner, 10 John Carlson, 24) (WSH: 21 28 8 27 74 70   MTL: 75 15 13 14 31 76)
  Second period
03:28 MTL Andrei Kostitsyn, 17 (Lars Eller, 9 P.k. Subban, 23) (WSH: 21 6 28 8 55 70   MTL: 75 46 31 53 76 81)
  Third period
06:43 WSH Marcus Johansson, 11 (Alex Ovechkin, 46) (WSH: 22 8 27 74 70 90   MTL: 44 13 31 58 53 76)
16:53 WSH Mike Knuble, 17 (PP) (Marco Sturm, 7) (WSH: 22 18 26 27 74 70   MTL: 44 13 31 58 76)
   Team Shots Faceoffs
1 2 3 Total
16 19 6 41
12 6 8 26
Won Lost
30 27
27 30
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