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Capitals beat Canadiens 4-2 in Ovechkin's debut as Washington captain @NHLdotcom

WASHINGTON - Alex Ovechkin's debut as Capitals captain was a success even though he was kept off the score sheet.

Tomas Fleischmann had a goal and two assists after moving from left wing to centre, and Alexander Semin scored twice to lift the Capitals to a 4-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens that snapped a season-high, three-game skid Tuesday night.

Before the game, Washington introduced Ovechkin as the team's 14th captain. He succeeds Chris Clark, who was traded to Columbus on Dec. 28, and becomes the sixth Russian-born player to captain an NHL team. He is the Capitals' second-youngest captain.

Ovechkin was held without a point for the eighth time this season. Montreal also shut him out in a Nov. 20 win at Washington.

The Capitals haven't lost four straight in regulation since Eric Fehr's goal snapped a second-period tie.

Josh Gorges and Benoit Pouliot scored for the Canadiens, 7-3-1 in their last 11 road games.

With the score tied 1-1, Fehr threw a shot toward the net that bounced in off defenceman Hal Gill at 15:45 of the second. Semin scored on a snap shot from the top of the right circle 36 seconds later, making it 3-1 with his 15th goal.

The Capitals limited the Canadiens to one shot in the opening 11 minutes and three for the first period, but didn't take the lead until Fleischmann's power-play goal 5:14 into the second.

Fleischmann netted his 15th goal shortly after Ovechkin's shot clanged off the right post. Fleischmann picked off Andrei Markov's stick-shattering clearing attempt along the right-wing boards, skated parallel to the goal and threaded a shot between two defenders and inside the left post with two seconds remaining on the man advantage.

Gorges tied it with an unintentional assist from Fleischmann. Gorges' drive from the right point caught Fleischmann's stick and knuckled past goalie Michal Neuvirth at 14:03 of the second.

Pouliot got Montreal within 3-2 with 8:50 remaining in the game. During a power play, Marc-Andre Bergeron's pass caromed in off Pouliot, stationed between the circles.

Semin scored his second of the night with 2:02 left, converting Fleischmann's pass.

NOTES: Ovechkin had been an alternate captain since his second NHL season in 2006-07. ... C Nicklas Backstrom, who left Saturday's game at Los Angeles because of a migraine headache, returned to Washington's starting lineup. ... Montreal LW Andrei Kostitsyn missed his second straight game with a lower body injury. His brother, LW Sergei Kostitsyn, sat out a third game because of a lower body injury.

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