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MONTREAL – Nicklas Backstrom scored in the third period as the Washington Capitals defeated the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 on Saturday in the third and final meeting between the teams this season.
Jay Beagle and Andre Burakovsky also scored for Washington (35-11-6). Braden Holtby stopped 19 of 21 shots. He's won his last 10 starts.
Alexander Radulov and Max Pacioretty scored for Montreal (30-16-7), while Carey Price made 27 saves.
With the Capitals leading 2-1 and Radulov in the box for hooking, Backstrom scored his 15th goal of the season at 5:16 of the third period to put the game out of Montreal's reach.
The Canadiens got a goal back two minutes later when Pacioretty scored his team-leading 25th of the year. The Habs captain scored on his own rebound after Beagle blocked his initial shot from the slot, but that's as close as the hosts would get.
Washington continued its recent dominance over the Canadiens at Bell Centre. The Caps now have at least a point in 14 consecutive road games in Montreal. Their last regulation loss at the Bell Centre was on Jan. 10, 2009.
Beagle scored on Washington's first shot on Price at 3:02 of the first period. The Caps forward used defenseman Nathan Beaulieu as a screen to beat Price with a wrister glove side. The Canadiens goalie never saw the shot coming.
Radulov tied things up at 1-1 with a wrist shot at 7:32 of the first. Pacioretty got the play going by poking the puck away from Caps defenseman Nate Schmidt along the boards in Washington's zone to force the turnover.
The Capitals regained the lead when Burakovsky fired a precise shot over Price's left shoulder into the roof of the net. Former Canadien Lars Eller made the goal possible with a smart breakout pass just moments earlier.
Radulov looked to have leveled the score again in the second period, but his goal was waived off for goalie interference after Pacioretty steamrolled Holtby on the play. The Canadiens did not challenge the call.
NOTE: David Desharnais was a healthy scratch for Montreal. . John Carlson played his 500th career NHL game. . The game was delayed 10 minutes in the first period to repair a puck-sized hole in the boards behind Holtby's net.