The Washington Capitals scored three times with the man advantage on Thursday en route to a 5-4 shootout victory over the Canadiens. The win propelled Washington into second place in the Metropolitan division.
Alex Ovechkin scored two power-play goals and Joel Ward added another as the Caps improved to 25.3 per cent on the year with the extra skater.
"We had a really tough time killing penalties," said Canadiens head coach Michel Therrien. "I understand that this is the best power play in the league, but we have to do a much better job than to let in three goals."
With Max Pacioretty in the box for hooking, Ovechkin put Washington in front 2-1 late in the second period. Down 3-2 in the third, Ovechkin and Ward scored power-play goals within 1:13 to regain the lead.
"We give lots of details and lots of attention to this," said Ovechkin. "Before my second goal, it was a huge one. We had to put all the effort that we had, and we did. Everybody was in, and you can see the results."
Washington (43-25-10) has now won 10 of its last 12 when Ovechkin finds the back of the net. The Caps are 8-0-1 in their last nine games at the Bell Centre.
The Canadiens (47-22-9) got goals from Jeff Petry, Tom Gilbert and Lars Eller before P.K. Subban sent the game to overtime with a goal at 15:01 of the third.
Carey Price made two of his 15 saves in the extra frame, but the league leader in goals-against-average and save percentage couldn't stop Troy Brouwer in the fourth round of the shootout.
Braden Holtby made 23 saves for Washington and improved to 6-0-2 in his career versus Montreal.
After a scoreless but fast-paced first period, the teams combined for five goals on 16 shots in the second.
Petry got the ball rolling for Montreal 58 seconds into the period when his shot took a deflection off defenceman Karl Alzner to beat Holtby.
"It was probably one of my top two games," said Petry, who has now scored twice in as many games. "In the next four games, I'll try to elevate my game to a level that when the playoffs start, I'll be sharp."
Ward scored his first of two at 10:36 before Ovechkin beat his fellow Hart Trophy candidate Price with his league-leading 51st of the season at 14:08.
With the goal— the 473rd of his career and fourth in his last three games— Ovechkin became the Capitals' all-time leading scorer, passing Peter Bondra.
"It's a huge accomplishment," said Ovechkin. "Sooner or later, somebody will beat my record, but it's nice to be in the history. Without my linemeates and my teammates, I would have never been in this category and this position."
In his first game back from injury, Gilbert made it 2-2 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 73 seconds later before Subban tied things up 4-4 with a rocket from the point.
The point gave Montreal the lead in the Atlantic division. The Habs have four regular-season games remaining before the playoffs.
Notes: Brian Flynn and Greg Pateryn were healthy scratches. … Blue Jays Russell Martin and Mark Buehrle were in attendance, as well as former Expo Valdimir Guerrero.