Goals by Tomas Plekanec, Andrei Markov, Brian Gionta and Josh Gorges secured the Canadiens' second successive victory after a lacklustre season-opening loss to Toronto.
Canadiens netminder Carey Price stopped 30 shots and was rarely tested before a Joey Crabb goal with 2:33 remaining ended the visiting goalie's shutout bid.
Montreal opened the scoring early in the second period when Plekanec scored from the right-wing circle with the Canadiens enjoying a two-man advantage.
Less than a minute later, the Canadiens added another powerplay goal when Markov beat back-up Michael Neuvirth to the stick side.
With 11 minutes left in the period, the Canadiens made it 3-0 when Gionta caught the Capitals napping and fired an uncontested, five-foot wrist-shot high to the gloveside to silence a sold-out Verizon Center crowd of 18,506.
Gorges completed the scoring blitz with 1:39 remaining in the period to take the Canadiens out of sight of their shell-shocked opponents.
After being out-scored 10-5 in their first two contests of the 48-game season, Capitals first-year coach Adam Oates opted to start Neuvirth in goal but the move backfired in the decisive middle period when he conceded all four goals on 11 shots.
The Capitals (0-3) are in the midst of their worst start since dropping the first six games of the 1993-94 campaign.
- Ice Hockey
- Sports & Recreation
- Brian Gionta
- Andrei Markov
- Josh Gorges