Tom Wilson and Evgeny Kuznetsov each scored two goals, and Nicklas Backstrom added four assists as the Washington Capitals defeated the Montreal Canadiens 6-4 on Saturday night in Montreal.
The Capitals now are 7-1-0 in their past eight games and improved their lead in the Metropolitan Division to five points over idle Pittsburgh and six over Columbus, who broke a 10-game winning streak with a loss on Saturday.
Washington and Pittsburgh each have seven games left in the season, and Columbus has six remaining.
Wilson had not scored a goal in his last 10 games but got two in a three-goal first period. Kuznetsov scored a goal in the first and another early in the third.
Backstrom assisted on each of Washington’s three first-period goals.
Goalie Philipp Grubauer made 17 saves in the victory.
Montreal scored the game’s first goal on an Alex Galchenyuk shot 8:35 into the game. The Canadiens appeared to make it 2-0 just over a minute later but the goal was thrown out (offsides) after Washington challenged the play.
The Capitals took over after that, posting three goals in a seven-minute stretch.
Kuznetsov, who returned the lineup after missing three games with an upper-body injury, tied the game on a power-play goal with 8:49 remaining in the period.
Wilson then scored back-to-back goals that gave Washington a 3-1 lead. The big right-winger has thrived when playing on the first line and notched two quick goals. The first, which snapped the tie, came after goalie Carey Price’s weak pass trickled away from a teammate and to Backstrom. He quickly fed Wilson, who beat Price from the right circle with 5:11 left.
Backstrom set up Wilson once more with 1:49 remaining, making a beautiful no-look pass to his left, and the right winger buried it from the high slot.
Jay Beagle then made it 4-1 early in the second period before Charles Hudon scored for Montreal just two seconds before intermission.
Kuznetsov —thanks to Backstrom’s fourth primary assist, this also on the power play— and T.J. Oshie each posted a goal in the third for a 6-2 lead.
Hudon added his second goal, and Brendan Gallagher added a late-power play marker for the 6-4 final.
—Field Level Media