CAPITALS 4, CANADIENS 1: Jason Chimera and captain Alex Ovechkin scored 16 seconds apart in the second period and Washington snapped a three-game losing skid by beating visiting Montreal.
Chimera, who assisted on Mathieu Perreault’s first-period goal, took a pass from Alexander Semin and scored on a breakaway 8:42 into the second.
Ovechkin, who returned after missing the last game with a lower-body injury, quickly hammered home a one-timer from the left circle off a pass from defenseman Dmitry Orlov for a 3-0 lead.
Michal Neuvirth made 30 saves to gain his first win since Jan. 18, when he shut out Montreal.
Rene Bourque scored a shorthanded goal 3:42 into the third period for Montreal.
The Capitals, who are 8-0-2 against Canadiens in their last 10 meetings, moved within two points of the first-place Winnipeg Jets in Southeast Division.
Perreault gave the Caps a 1-0 lead 6:58 into the game off a turnover.
Chimera stole a clearing pass on the left boards and sent a diagonal pass to the right side of the net where Perreault delivered his 11th goal.
GAME NOTEBOOK: The Capitals have won 20 home games, more than anyone else in the Eastern Conference. ... Montreal is 1-4-1 in its last six games. ... Washington’s Joel Ward scored an empty-netter in the final minute, his first tally since Jan. 7. ... Montreal goalie Carey Price made his 10th straight start.