MONTREAL (AP) -- Michael Ryder and the Montreal Canadiens finally put a pair
of wins together.
Ryder scored twice and assisted on Sheldon Souray's 13th goal of the season,
and Montreal beat the Washington Capitals 4-1 Sunday for their first winning
streak in more than two months.
Joe Juneau also scored and Jose Theodore made 19 saves for the Canadiens,
who hadn't won consecutive games in 12 previous tries since Oct. 20-23.
"It's a big weight off our shoulders, especially when people are talking
about how this team can't win back-to-back games," Ryder said. "Now that
we've done it, it's a big accomplishment and hopefully we can put some more
Ryder opened the scoring in the first period with a shot inside the left
post as he moved to the slot, then beat goalie Maxime Ouellet with an almost
identical shot for his ninth of the season -- an unassisted goal midway through
The three points moved Ryder one point ahead of the New York Islanders'
Trent Hunter for the rookie scoring lead with 26.
"He's playing some good hockey," said Canadiens captain Saku Koivu, who
won the faceoff that led to Ryder's first goal. "It's fun to see. He's scoring
the goals and getting the points."
Montreal, which beat Atlanta 5-1 on Saturday, extended its unbeaten streak
to four games (3-0-1). The Canadiens have earned a point in nine of their last
11 (6-2-2-1), moving four games over .500 for the first time this season at
"Even though we haven't won consecutive games, we've played a lot more
consistently and we haven't lost too many games," Koivu said. "I think we can
improve a lot of things, and by winning two in a row here at home, it's a good
start and it's something to build on."
Joel Kwiatkowski scored for Washington, which failed in its sixth attempt
for the 1,000th regular-season win in team history. The Capitals, who lost 5-2
in Ottawa the night before, fell to 0-5-1 since a 3-2 win over Montreal on Dec.
23 brought them within one win of the milestone.
"I honestly wasn't even aware of that," Capitals defenseman Jason Doig
said. "That's not even an objective or an issue for us. We're a struggling
hockey team and we're just trying to concentrate on getting our systems down."
Souray, who had never scored more than three goals before this season, put
the Canadiens up 2-1 with a power-play goal at 13:31 of the second period, just
moments after making a great play to keep the puck in Washington's zone.
Ryder, Souray and center Mike Ribeiro cycled the puck along the left boards
after the Montreal defenseman lunged to prevent the puck from crossing the blue
line. Ryder passed from the left corner back to the point, where Souray drove a
slap shot past Ouellet.
Trailing 1-0 after Ryder's goal off a faceoff 12:32 in, Washington tied it
just as a penalty to Souray expired at 16:07 on Kwiatkowski's slap shot from
Souray's goal put Montreal up 2-1 and Juneau scored for the second straight
game with a short-handed effort 2:51 into the third to increase the Canadiens'
lead to two.