Series (Game 3 of 4)

Washington leads 3-1

Game 1: Friday, November 28th
Game 2: Saturday, December 13th
Game 3: Saturday, January 10th
Game 4: Wednesday, February 18th

Capitals 4

(27-13-3, 57 pts)

Canadiens 5

(25-10-6, 56 pts)

7:00 PM ET, January 10, 2009

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1 2 3 T
WSH 1 1 24
MTL 1 0 45

T. Plekanec (Canadiens - C): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

S. Kostitsyn (Canadiens - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

A. Semin (Capitals - RW): Goals: 2, Assists: 0

Canadiens net four goals in third period to beat Capitals

Associated Press

MONTREAL -- The streaking Montreal Canadiens changed their coach's plans for the upcoming All-Star break.

Sergei Kostitsyn scored Montreal's fourth third-period goal with 21.2 seconds remaining in regulation to give the Canadiens a 5-4 win over the Washington Capitals on Saturday night.

Fast Facts

• The Canadiens beat the Capitals for the first time this season to improve to 14-4-4 at home.

• Andrei Kostitsyn has scored seven goals in Montreal's last eight games.

• The Capitals lose their second straight and fall to 9-11-2 on the road this season.

• Alex Ovechkin, who had eight goals and nine assists in his previous 14 games against the Canadiens, had just one assist.

-- ESPN research

Kostitsyn, who assisted on his brother Andrei's goal earlier in the third, scored unassisted to help Montreal extend its winning streak to four.

Canadiens coach Guy Carbonneau earned a trip to this month's All-Star game at the Bell Centre as a result of the win.

Carbonneau, a three-time Selke Trophy winner during his 19-year playing career, willingly accepted a change in his plans for the league-wide break surrounding the Jan. 25 showcase game.

"I was going to go to Florida, lie on a beach and enjoy it," Carbonneau said. "I never had a chance as a player to go to the All-Star game. Even if it's a game that doesn't have a lot of intensity, it will still be special."

Carbonneau beat out Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau by virtue of a higher winning percentage -- .683 to .662 -- for the final spot as an assistant on Boston coach Claude Julien's Eastern Conference staff along with Philadelphia's John Stevens.

"The story of my life," joked Boudreau, who won the Jack Adams Award as the league's top coach as a rookie last season. "You know what, I'm more interested -- quite frankly -- in the fact that Florida won. We could have gained on Carolina and stayed closer to Boston, so it was a heartbreaker to watch us lose like that but maybe we learn by our mistakes."

Tomas Plekanec scored his second goal of the game 4:31 into the third as the Canadiens scored three goals within 2:35 to twice take the lead.

Robert Lang and Andrei Kostitsyn put Montreal up for the first time moments earlier on power-play goals 43 seconds apart.

"Games are fun to play and everyone was in it, our guys did a great job," Plekanec said. "We came back when they scored and that was great for us, we got on a roll and kept at it."

Tomas Fleischmann's goal at 4:15 evened it at 3. Michael Nylander drew Washington even for the second time in the third at 4-4 when he was credited with his fourth goal of the season at 12:21.

"I think we deserved at least a point tonight," said Alexander Ovechkin, who assisted on Nylander's goal. "I think we played great. We had great chances but we didn't score, especially in the first period. They had great chances and we had great chances."

Alexander Semin scored twice, giving the Capitals the lead both times. Semin opened the scoring in the first, and put Washington ahead 2-1 with his second of the game -- his 16th -- 13:04 into the second.

Brothers Run the Show

Brothers Sergei and Andrei Kostitsyn went to work in the third period, both recorded a goal and an assist, to lead the Canadiens to victory.

Comparing the Kostitsyns
Sergei Andrei
Age 21 23
Height 5-11 6-0
Weight 183 205
Experience 2nd year 4th year
Goals 8 13
Assists 10 12

Montreal coach Guy Carbonneau earned a trip to this month's All-Star game at the Bell Centre as a result of the win.

Carbonneau beat out Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau for the final spot as an assistant on Boston coach Claude Julien's Eastern Conference staff along with Philadelphia's John Stevens.

Jaroslav Halak stopped 31 shots in his fifth straight start for the Canadiens, who are 9-1-1 since a season-high three-game losing streak.

Johnson made 30 saves for Washington.

Plekanec, who short handed in the first, drove a slap shot past Brent Johnson to put Montreal up 4-3.

Washington evened it at 4 when Alexander Ovechkin's shot from the left side deflected off Montreal right wing Tom Kostopoulos' stick and caromed off Nylander's skate and past Halak into the net.

Semin deflected Mike Green's point shot past Halak 7:59 in to put Washington up 1-0.

Plekanec tied it at 9:20 when he drove the right side and beat Johnson 15 seconds after Alex Kovalev was sent off for high-sticking.

After Semin restored Washington's one-goal lead in the second, Montreal struck quickly as Lang scored 1:56 into the third to tie it at 2, followed by another power-play goal by Andrei Kostitsyn at 2:39 which put Montreal up 3-2.

Game notes

Canadiens D Yannick Weber was a healthy scratch after making his NHL debut in Thursday's 6-2 win over Toronto. ... Washington ended a seven-game winning streak Friday with a 3-0 loss to Columbus.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press