Perreault has two goals, assist

MONTREAL (AP) -- The Montreal Canadiens turned their season
around before it was even a week old.

Yanic Perreault had two goals and an assist, and Donald Audette
also had three points as the Canadiens beat the Washington Capitals 5-1 in their home opener Tuesday night.

Audette, Andreas Dackell and Stephane Quintal also scored for
Montreal, which has won two straight while outscoring opponents 9-1
since a season-opening 5-2 loss in Ottawa on Thursday.

"It's been night and day," goalie Jose Theodore said. "The
first game it seemed that Ottawa was a great team. They are a good
team, but I don't think we played like we did the last two games
against them. We learned from that game and that's why we were able
to bounce back in Toronto and build a little momentum coming into
tonight's game."

Fresh from his 18th career shutout Saturday in Toronto, Theodore
stopped 16 shots for the Canadiens, who were founded in 1909 --
eight years before the NHL was formed. They are 53-19-15 in home
openers since the NHL began in 1917.

"This was a big thing for me growing up and it's just an honor
to be here playing in it," said Montreal rookie Michael Ryder, who
set up Perreault's first goal.

Robert Lang scored for Washington, which played without
suspended forward Mike Grier.

"I don't know if Mike Grier can score four goals," Capitals
coach Bruce Cassidy said. "We weren't very good from the bottom of
our lineup to the top. Goaltender, defense, forwards, I mean, let's
face it, even the coaches -- another too many men on the ice

Grier served a one-game penalty imposed by the NHL earlier in
the day for elbowing the Maple Leafs' Robert Reichel as the
Capitals began a six-game road trip Monday with a 2-2 tie in

"Obviously you don't want to miss a game but I had to," Grier
said. "It's tough to watch but something to learn from, I think."

Alexander Semin, chosen 13th overall in last year's draft,
assisted on Lang's goal in his NHL debut as he joined fellow
19-year-old players Boyd Gordon and Steve Eminger in Washington's

The Capitals -- without defensemen Brendan Witt and John Gruden
for a second straight game because of injuries -- are 0-2-1 since a
6-1 victory over the New York Islanders in their opener Thursday.

Dackell opened the scoring 6:00 in with his first of the season.
After taking Joe Juneau's pass from the right corner, Dackell
fanned on his first attempt from the circle before recovering to
fire a wrist shot over goalie Sebastien Charpentier's left shoulder
and just inside the crossbar.

Perreault scored a power-play goal at 16:05, taking a pass from
Ryder behind the net and beating Charpentier from the slot to put
Montreal up 2-0.

Washington made it a one-goal game again just 40 seconds later
after Habs defenseman Quintal flubbed a pass along
the boards. Semin passed to Lang, who beat Theodore at 16:45 for
his second goal of the season.

Perreault got his second goal of the game just 19 seconds into
the second period to restore Montreal's two-goal lead.

"We got a lot of chances to score because we played well
defensively," Perreault said. "We wanted to get a strong start --
that's what we did tonight and after that we played really well."

Quintal made it 4-1 when he got credit for the Canadiens fourth
goal after his centering pass from the right corner went in off
defenseman Josef Boumedienne.

Audette, who assisted on both of Perreault's goals, increased
the lead to four at 14:53 as he took a pass from Perreault and put
a shot from the left side through Charpentier's legs.

Game notes
There was a moment of silence in memory of Atlanta center
Dan Snyder after the Canadiens were introduced during pregame
ceremonies. ... There was some booing from the upper reaches of the
arena at the beginning of the U.S. national anthem. ...
Charpentier, a native of Drummondville, Quebec, made his first
start of the season and first career appearance against Montreal.
... The Canadiens began a stretch of six straight home games.