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game recap

Holtby, Eller lift Capitals past Canadiens in OT

Goalie makes 22 saves in relief, forward scores game-winner

by Sean Farrell / NHL.com Correspondent

MONTREAL -- Braden Holtby made 22 saves in relief and Lars Eller scored 3:34 into overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 5-4 win against the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre on Monday.

Holtby entered the game at 1:35 of the second period after starting goalie Pheonix Copley allowed four goals on 22 shots.

"[Copley] has been playing phenomenal for us," said Holtby, who returned after missing the past three games because of an upper-body injury. "You know, a couple of bounces don't go our way. We know it's not on him, it's on us to pick a teammate up in that situation. And I thought our team really turned it around and started playing some good hockey."

 

[WATCH: All Capitals vs. Canadiens highlights]

 

Alex Ovechkin scored his 236th power-play goal to tie Mario Lemieux for seventh place on the NHL all-time list. The goal, his second of the game and 15th of the season on a one-timer from the left face-off circle, tied it at 4-4 at 1:02 of the third period.

Brendan Gallagher, Jeff Petry and Kenny Agostino scored 1:15 apart to give Montreal a 4-2 lead at 1:35 of the second. The goals tied for the second-fastest three goals to start any period in Canadiens history.

Video: EA Sports Overtime Winner: Eller wins it for Capitals

Nicklas Backstrom drew Washington within 4-3 at 13:20. Ovechkin and Brett Connolly scored in the first for the Capitals (10-7-3).

"I think they had a pretty lucky start to the second period, you know, three shots on net and everything goes in," Ovechkin said. "We just regrouped, no panic. We knew we had plenty of time to bounce back. Obviously [Backstrom's] goal was big and we knew one shot away and it's a tie game."

Carey Price made 29 saves for Montreal (11-6-4), including a sensational sprawling save on another Ovechkin one-timer with two seconds left in the third period.

"Carey did everything to keep us in the game," Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. "It may have been five goals against him, but it was thanks to him that we were still in the game."

Video: WSH@MTL: Ovechkin ties game with massive one-timer

Ovechkin was impressed enough to applaud Price as he skated past.

"He makes a good save, maybe a lucky save, I don't know, but obviously it was a pretty cool play," said Ovechkin, who has 20 goals in 25 games against Price. "The fans enjoy it, we enjoy it as well."

Canadiens forward Max Domi extended his point streak to 10 games with an assist on Petry's power-play goal at 1:08 of the second, which gave Montreal a 3-2 lead after Gallagher tied it with his 10th goal 20 seconds into the period. Agostino made it 4-2 at 1:35, the last shot Copley faced.

Video: WSH@MTL: Canadiens open 2nd period with scoring blitz

Canadiens defenseman Mike Reilly gave them a 1-0 lead with his second goal of the season at 9:20 of the first period.

Connolly tied it 1-1 at 13:16, and Ovechkin made it 2-1 at 14:40 when he redirected Tom Wilson's pass.

 

They said it

"They're a tough team to play against. They have some speed and they funnel a lot of things to the net, so I thought we figured them out as game went on and got better and better." -- Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby

 

"Well it's pretty cool, obviously. He's a great player and he's had my number for a while, so it was nice to get him back once." -- Canadiens goaltender Carey Price on Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin

Video: WSH@MTL: Price makes incredible desperation save

 

Need to know

Ovechkin has 31 goals in 47 career games against the Canadiens and 28 points (15 goals, 13 assists) in 24 games at Bell Centre. He is one power-play goal behind Brendan Shanahan (237) for sixth place on the NHL all-time list. … Montreal's three goals in 1:35 to start the second period tied for the 14th-fastest three goals to open any period in NHL history. The record is 53 seconds, set by the Calgary Flames to start the third period of a 13-1 win against the San Jose Sharks on Feb. 10, 1993. … Canadiens defenseman Noah Juulsen left the game after he was struck in the face by the puck and cut at 12:52 of the first period. He went to the hospital for further examination.

Video: WSH@MTL: Ovechkin finishes Wilson's feed in tight

 

What's next

Capitals: Host the Chicago Blackhawks on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; NBCSWA, WGN, NHL.TV)

Canadiens: At the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday (7 p.m. ET; SN1, MSG+ 2, RDS, NHL.TV)

Video: Eller scores OT winner in wild 5-4 Capitals' win

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