An opportunistic offensive performance helped the Washington Capitals overcome the struggling Montreal Canadiens 3-0 on Wednesday to move top of the Southeast Division.
The Capitals produced a season-low 16 shots, one night after they managed a previous low of 17 in a loss to the New York Islanders, but on Wednesday it was more than enough to earn their fourth win in five games.
Mathieu Perreault and Marcus Johansson each scored in the first period and Alex Ovechkin converted his team-leading 19th goal of the year in the second.
Goaltender Michal Neuvirth made 31 saves for his second shutout of the season and the Capitals (25-18-2) jumped one point ahead of the idle Florida Panthers in the division.
The Canadiens (17-21-8) remained at the bottom of the Northeast with their fourth loss in five contests.
Newly acquired Rene Bourque, playing in his second game with Montreal since being traded from Calgary, faced Washington for the first time since he delivered a hit to the head of Nicklas Backstrom on Jan. 3 to earn a suspension.
Please double-click on the newslink below:
for more NHL stories