Montreal, QC – Alex Ovechkin and Troy Brouwer scored two goals apiece, as the Washington Capitals cruised to a 5-1 win over the Montreal Canadiens at Bell Centre.
Nicklas Backstrom added one goal and one assist, and Mike Ribeiro chipped in with three helpers for the Capitals, who hold a three-point edge over the Winnipeg Jets atop the Southeast Division standings. Washington could clinch the division with a regulation win on Tuesday against the Jets.
Braden Holtby had 35 saves in the triumph, Washington's ninth in 10 games.
Carey Price allowed all five goals on 25 shots for the Canadiens, who have dropped four of their last five games. Despite the loss, Montreal leads the Boston Bruins by two points for the top spot in the Northeast Division.
Ovechkin got the Caps on the board with his tally 4:49 into the game. P.K. Subban's pass from behind the Montreal net took an unlucky bounce right to Ovechkin, who turned and fired a wrister into the back of the net.
Brouwer's shot from just above the right circle gave the Caps a 2-0 lead 1:08 later.
Brouwer's second tally came 3:49 into the middle session as he beat Price over the right shoulder.
Ovechkin found Backstrom wide open in front of the net to give Washington a commanding 4-0 edge four minutes later.
Ovechkin potted his 30th goal of the season on a power play with 6:37 left in the third to put the visitors ahead 5-0.
Max Pacioretty scored the Canadiens' lone goal with 5:09 remaining.
Ovechkin became the first player to reach double-figures for April goals in one season since 2006 with 12. Jonathan Cheechoo (11) and Mats Sundin (10) both accomplished the feat in April 2006 ... Montreal will visit the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday.