MONTREAL (AP) - Olaf Kolzig made sure that the Washington Capitals' quick start paid off with a rare road victory.
Brian Sutherby scored twice and Kolzig made 43 saves, leading Washington to a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday night.
Sutherby, Brian Willsie and Brooks Laich each scored before the midway point of the first period. Chris Clark added a second-period goal for the Capitals, who improved to 8-12-0 with their fifth regulation victory of the season.
``We've had our share of troubles this year on the road and anytime you can win in a place like Montreal, it's huge,'' Kolzig said.
Michael Ryder scored his team-leading ninth goal on a power play later in the second for Montreal (13-4-3), which lost 5-3 in New Jersey one night earlier. It is the first time this season the Canadiens have lost consecutive games in regulation.
Montreal rookie Yann Danis made his second straight home start and quickly found himself trailing 2-0 on pucks that he and teammate Mathieu Dandenault inadvertently sent into their own goal.
``We had no emotion in the beginning, well actually, throughout the whole game,'' Canadiens captain Saku Koivu said. ``They got some lucky bounces early on in the game and got the lead, but I think more than anything this has been coming for a while. We've talked for a long time about getting better, being more consistent and doing the little things.''
Sutherby was credited with his third goal 23 seconds in when Danis kicked out his left pad as the puck rebounded off the back boards, sending it off his skate and into the net.
Willsie had similar good fortune when Dandenault reached out his stick to take away a pass to Capitals winger Matt Pettinger. The Montreal defenseman redirected the puck toward his own net and between Danis' pads to put Washington up 2-0 at 5:54.
Laich made it 3-0 on a power play with his first NHL goal 9:20 in. Clark increased the lead to 4-0 with his fourth goal 6:25 into the second.
``It was key tonight to get off to a good start and the guys answered the bell,'' Capitals defenseman Brendan Witt said. ``Now maybe we learn from this that if we get off to good starts, we get rewarded.''
Jose Theodore, who lost his third in a row Friday night, replaced Danis at 9:10.
Theodore faced just three shots the rest of the way, allowing Sutherby's second goal 14:16 into third on the only shot he faced in the period.
``I think if the puck goes an inch left, an inch right, I think we've got ourselves a game and we've got them back on their heels,'' Dandenault said of the two early goals.
``Kolzig played well also, he made some key saves, but I think it's just not bearing down on our chances. Guys are trying, guys are working hard, but it just didn't seem to go in.''
The Capitals, who lost 8-5 in Buffalo on Thursday night, have won two of three - including a 4-3 shootout win Tuesday night over Tampa Bay - following a three-game losing streak.
Capitals rookie sensation Alexander Ovechkin failed to register a point in the game, though 10 of his teammates did.
``If I didn't score and we win, I'm happy,'' Ovechkin said.
Jamie Heward and Matt Bradley assisted on Sutherby's first goal, Steve Eminger and Jeff Halpern drew assists on Willsie's goal, and Jakub Klepis and Tomas Fleischman assisted on Laich's goal. Clark's goal and Sutherby's second were unassisted.
Notes: Kolzig had allowed at least two goals in each of his previous 13 games. ... The Canadiens have sold out each of their 12 home games. ... Danis faced 17 shots.
|Brian Sutherby (3) ASST: Jamie Heward (5), Matt Bradley (4)|
1 - 0 WSH
|Brian Willsie (3) ASST: Steve Eminger (11), Jeff Halpern (11)|
2 - 0 WSH
|PPG - Brooks Laich (1) ASST: Jakub Klepis (2), Tomas Fleischmann (2)|
3 - 0 WSH
|Chris Clark (4) ASST: NONE|
4 - 0 WSH
|PPG - Michael Ryder (9) ASST: Pierre Dagenais (2), Sheldon Souray (5)|
4 - 1 WSH
|Brian Sutherby (4) ASST: NONE|
5 - 1 WSH
|Andrei Markov Hooking against Brian Willsie|
|Mathieu Dandenault Hi-sticking against Brooks Laich|
|Brian Willsie Hooking against Mike Ribeiro|
|Sheldon Souray Roughing against Matt Bradley|
|Jeff Halpern Interference against Richard Zednik|
|Craig Rivet Roughing against Brendan Witt|
|Brendan Witt Roughing against Craig Rivet|
|Shaone Morrisonn Hooking against Radek Bonk|
|Michael Ryder Hooking against Matt Pettinger|
|Jakub Klepis Hi-sticking against Francis Bouillon|
|Nolan Yonkman Holding against Chris Higgins|
|Ben Clymer Hooking against Tomas Plekanec|
|Pierre Dagenais Holding against Steve Eminger|
|Steve Eminger Holding against Niklas Sundstrom|
|Brian Willsie Slashing against Radek Bonk|