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game recap

Alex Ovechkin, Capitals win sixth straight

Forward one shy of 1,000 NHL points after getting goal, two assists against Canadiens

by Sean Farrell / Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Alex Ovechkin has won the Maurice "Rocket" Richard Trophy six times as the leading goal-scorer in the NHL, and now he has tied its namesake with his 544th NHL goal, which moved him within one point of 1,000 in the League.

Ovechkin tied Richard for 29th on the NHL goals list with his 19th of the season, and the Washington Capitals extended their winning streak to six with a 4-1 victory against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Monday.

Ovechkin got his 997th and 998th NHL points with assists on goals by Nicklas Backstrom and Evgeny Kuznetsov. His 999th point came on a power-play goal at 16:36 of the third period that tied him with Richard, the first NHL player to score 500 goals.

"It means I'm getting older," Ovechkin said. "I just remember my first year, my first game, it was like five minutes ago. Time moves forward and time moves more quick, so you just have to enjoy every second, every moment when you have opportunity and try and do something special."


WATCH: All Capitals vs. Canadiens highlights


Braden Holtby lost his bid to become the first Washington goalie to record three straight shutouts when Tomas Plekanec scored at 7:18 of the third.

Plekanec's power-play goal, which drew Montreal even at 1-1, ended Holtby's shutout streak at 169:12.

Holtby made 30 saves in a 1-0 win at the Ottawa Senators on Saturday after he had a 29-save shutout in a 5-0 win that ended the Columbus Blue Jackets' 16-game winning streak Wednesday. Pat Riggin had a Capitals record 203:52 shutout streak from Jan. 27 to Feb. 3, 1984.

Video: WSH@MTL: Holtby robs Farnham with sliding pad stop

"It's almost a good thing that it snapped, then it's not a distraction, we can focus on playing and the guys showed a lot of character coming back," Holtby said.

Ovechkin, who set up Backstrom's first-period goal, got his second assist of the game 54 seconds after Plekanec scored when Kuznetsov made it 2-1 with his fifth goal at 8:12.

Brett Connolly scored at 11:00 of the third, and Holtby made 22 saves for Washington (26-9-5), which has won 10 of its past 11 games (10-0-1) in Montreal.

Video: WSH@MTL: Connolly buries Kuznetsov's feed to pad lead

Carey Price made 35 saves for the Canadiens (25-10-6), who ended a three-game winning streak. Montreal, which played its only home game in a span of 10 games, begins a two-game road trip at the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday.

"The fans deserved better after a long road trip," Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty said. "They haven't seen us in a while and we wish we could put on a better show at home, but we definitely didn't have it tonight and we've just got to be ready for the next game."

Goal of the game

Ovechkin tied Richard in Montreal with a wrist shot from the top of the left faceoff circle on a pass from Backstrom.

"It's nice to be in history," Ovechkin said. "It's nice to be tied with the legend. Still, I have lots of years to go and I'm going to try to do my best."

Video: WSH@MTL: Ovechkin snaps in his 999th career point

Save of the game

Holtby made a right pad save on Plekanec's shot from the edge of the crease in the second period.

Video: WSH@MTL: Holtby sweeps aside Plekanec's chance

Highlight of the game

Ovechkin set up Washington's second goal, but missed seeing it live when he headed to the bench after taking a pass from Justin Williams and leaving a backhand pass for Kuznetsov in the neutral zone. Kuznetsov drove in and deked past Jeff Petry into the slot and shot past Price.

Video: WSH@MTL: Kuznetsov dances past defenseman and scores

Unsung performances of the game

Washington's defense pair of Karl Alzner and John Carlson each finished plus-3. Alzner had six blocked shots, and Carlson blocked four.

They said it

"I went by him today and we talked and I said, 'You know, it would be pretty cool.' I know every era has a great goal scorer and obviously the Rocket was fantastic. They named a trophy after him and Ovi's won it a number of times. You know, Ovi's big on those big moments, and from [that] standpoint I think he recognized how great the Rocket was, and to just tie the record with him in building would be pretty special." -- Capitals coach Barry Trotz on Alex Ovechkin tying Maurice "Rocket" Richard with 544 NHL goals


"They got a goal right after that and then it was a bit deflating. But still, it's a 60-minute game. It was a one-goal game for a while and then we tied it up. We've got to find a way to be better at the end." -- Canadiens captain Max Pacioretty on the letdown after Tomas Plekanec's power-play goal tied it at 1-1

Need to know

Trotz coached his 1,400th NHL regular-season game to tie Pat Quinn for ninth on the all-time list. It was Trotz's 684th win, which tied Quinn for eighth on the all-time list.

What's next

Capitals: Host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Wednesday (8 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, NBCSN, NHL.TV)

Canadiens: At the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday (7:30 p.m. ET; SN, RDS, NHL.TV)


Video: Ovechkin tallies 999th career point in 4-1 win

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