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Bondra's goal in final minute the difference

12/23/2003

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Peter Bondra scored with 53.8 seconds remaining to lift the Washington Capitals to a 3-2 victory Tuesday night over the Montreal Canadiens.

Bondra was camped out behind Montreal goalie Mathieu Garon and knocked in a loose puck in the crease to give Washington its first win on its five-game homestand.

Michael Ryder tied it for Montreal for the second time when he
batted a rebound out of the air at 8:24 of the third period.

Former Capitals player Jan Bulis also scored for Montreal, which
failed to win two in a row for the 11th time this season. The
Canadiens haven't won back-to-back games since beating the Red
Wings and Islanders on Oct. 20 and 23.

Joel Kwiatkowski was ejected for checking-from-behind, and
Montreal was only able to capitalize for one goal during the
five-minute advantage.

Jaromir Jagr and Jeff Halpern scored to give Washington 1-0 and
2-1 leads.

Bulis provided the first tie by snapping a wrist shot past Olaf
Kolzig at 3:18 of the third. Ryder answered Halpern's goal on the
power play by knocking a floating rebound into the net to make it
2-2.

Montreal's power play has scored in six of seven games.

Jagr scored the first goal on Washington's first power play at
5:37 of the second period, taking the puck from Benoit Gratton and
shooting it high past Garon.

Jagr, playing his second straight game after missing two with a
thumb injury, has 33 goals in 53 games against Montreal.

Halpern scored 4:56 into the third just before Montreal went on
the five-minute power play, which led to Ryder's tying goal.

Game notes
On Montreal's first power play, Washington's Mike Grier
knocked the net off its moorings after he broke in short-handed
against Garon. Instead of blowing the whistle, referee Kerry Fraser
signaled for play to continue at the other end of the ice while he
stayed behind the play to replace the net. Minutes later, the
Washington net came loose behind the action and again play was
allowed to continue. ... Officials had no choice but to stop play
with 5:05 remaining in the second after former Capitals player
Richard Zednik drove Washington's Trent Whitfield into the glass,
knocking the panel loose to the point where it fell forward hitting
a ducking Whitfield on top of the head. ... Washington's Colin
Forbes was a healthy scratch for the second straight game since his
recall from Portland of the AHL.