MONTREAL – Troy Brouwer scored the winner in the fourth round of the shootout, leading the Washington Capitals past the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 on Thursday night.
Alex Ovechkin and Joel Ward each scored a pair of goals for the Capitals in regulation time. Braden Holtby made 23 saves and improved to 6-0-2 in his career against Montreal.
With his first goal — the 473rd of his career and fourth in his last three games — Ovechkin became the Capitals' career leading scorer, passing Peter Bondra.
Jeff Petry, Tom Gilbert, Lars Eller and P.K. Subban scored for the Canadiens, while Carey Price stopped 15 shots in defeat.
Down 3-2 in the third, the Capitals scored two power-play goals in 1:13 to take the lead. Washington finished 3 for 4 with the man advantage.
In overtime, Eric Fehr came inches from giving Washington the victory, but his shot hit the post to Price's left.
Washington has won 10 of its last 12 when Ovechkin scores. The Capitals are also 8-0-1 in their last nine at Bell Centre.
After a scoreless but fast-paced first period, the teams combined for five goals on 16 shots in the second.
Petry scored for Montreal 58 seconds into the period when his shot deflected off defenseman Karl Alzner and beat Holtby. It was Petry's second goal in as many games.
The Capitals went more than 18 minutes without a shot on Price between the first and second periods, but they made up for it with two goals in the second.
Joel Ward tied it at 10:36 before Ovechkin gave the Caps the 2-1 lead at 14:08.
With Max Pacioretty in the box for hooking, Washington's league-best power play got to work. After evading a poke-check by Brandon Prust at the blue line, Ovechkin beat fellow Hart Trophy candidate Price with his league-leading 51st goal of the season.
In his first game back from injury, Gilbert made it 2-2 just 39 seconds later with a wrister far side on Holtby, and Eller gave the Canadiens the lead at 18:39 of the second.
Ovechkin scored his second, again on the power play, at 11:06 of the third.
Ward gave the Capitals the lead 1:13 later before Subban tied it at 4 with a rocket from the point with five minutes left.
NOTES: Brian Flynn and Greg Pateryn were healthy scratches. ... Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin and pitcher Mark Buehrle were in attendance, as well as former Expos outfielder Vladimir Guerrero. ... Linesman Jean Morin, who officiated the last of his 1,638 career NHL games, received a standing ovation from the Bell Centre crowd.