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Feb 6, 2024 10:01 pm

Nick Suzuki, Juraj Slafkovsky steer Habs past Capitals

Canadiens, Capitals

Nick Suzuki scored twice in a three-point outing and the visiting Montreal Canadiens netted three first-period goals en route to a 5-2 victory over the slumping Washington Capitals on Tuesday.

Juraj Slafkovsky also scored twice and Michael Pezzetta added a goal for the Canadiens, who received a 36-save performance from Sam Montembeault. Mike Matheson collected two assists as Montreal improved to 2-0-1 in its past three games.

Alex Ovechkin and Rasmus Sandin scored for the Capitals, who are winless in five games (0-4-1). Starting goalie Charlie Lindgren was pulled after surrendering three goals on nine shots. Darcy Kuemper made 15 saves in relief. Dylan Strome notched two assists.

Suzuki’s pair of goals 57 seconds apart sent the Canadiens off and running.

Suzuki buried a cross-ice feed from Cole Caufield on a two-on-one rush at 6:42 to open the scoring. Caufield got an assist to extend his career-best point streak to 10 games, in which he has collected six goals and seven assists.

Suzuki netted his 15th goal of the season soon after. Arber Xhekaj’s point shot rang off the post, but Suzuki pounced on the rebound.

Pezzetta made it a three-goal edge at 13:07 of the opening frame when he gained a loose puck in the slot and converted his third of the season. The Capitals had only three shots on goal at that point, as much the reason Lindgren was hooked as the goals.

Ovechkin gave the hosts life by burying a shot from the slot at 6:03 of the second period for his 10th of the season and second in as many games.

However, after the Canadiens failed to register a shot on goal in the final 13:04 of the second period, Slafkovsky made it a 4-1 count by snapping home a shot from the slot at 11:19 of the third period.

Sandin made it a two-goal game 22 seconds later with a top-corner one-timer from the point for his second goal of the season. Slafkovsky replied 2 1/2 minutes later by pocketing his third goal in the past two outings and ninth of the season with a blast from the right faceoff dot on the power play.

The Canadiens were without center Brendan Gallagher while he served the second game of a five-game suspension. Washington played its first game without forward Evgeny Kuznetsov, who is being treated in the player assistance program.

–Field Level Media

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