WASHINGTON – David Desharnais scored his long-awaited first goal of the season, and the Montreal Canadiens took an early three-goal lead Friday night and survived two goals from Alex Ovechkin in a 3-2 win over the Washington Capitals.
Travis Moen also scored his first of the season, and Daniel Briere added a goal for the Canadiens, who have won two straight.
Ovechkin scored on a last first-period power play and again in the third period to give him an NHL-leading 19 goals.
In the third period, for a few hectic seconds, Peter Budaj had to play without his stick. The Canadiens goaltender lost it in a crowd while the Capitals were pressing in the offensive zone.
He started to reach down and pick it up, but everything was happening too fast. Finally, he used his pads to stop a close-range shot from Martin Erat and smothered the puck with about three minutes remaining.
“You feel kind of naked without it,” Budaj said. “They had a couple of shots, but the guys, they knew that I had lost the stick and they were blocking shots, and then they had one from the corner there.
“I wanted to pick it up but then I was, like, I might as well not. I don’t want to be getting scored on while I’m looking at the stick. I’ve just got to focus on the puck.”
Budaj finished with 25 saves in place of usual starter Carey Price.
Desharnais’ recent struggles had attracted the attention of Montreal’s new mayor, who suggested on Twitter earlier this month that the forward be sent to the minors. Desharnais finally scored when he perched in front of the net to redirect Josh Gorges’ shot , a goal that stood after a video review to determine whether it was scored with a high stick.
It was part of an outburst in which the Canadiens netted three goals on their first 12 shots, putting the Capitals in a 3-0 hole.
“You know what? When you go on a losing streak, you always end up saying the same thing,” Washington coach Adam Oates said. “Tomorrow morning on the video I will show the same stuff, I know it.”
Penguins 4, Islanders 3
In Pittsburgh, Sidney Crosby scored with 1:16 remaining to give the Penguins a triumph over New York.
Crosby’s 12th goal of the season was also the 250th of his career, and the Pittsburgh captain also had an assist.
Ducks 1, Lightning 0 (OT)
In Anaheim, Ryan Getzlaf scored with 5.2 seconds left in overtime, and Jonas Hiller made 31 saves in an emergency start to get his 19th career shutout
Canucks 6, Blue Jackets 2
In Vancouver, Henrik Sedin scored twice and twin brother Daniel Sedin had a goal and two assists as the Canucks beat Columbus.
Flames 4, Panthers 3 (SO)
In Calgary, Sean Monahan scored in the sixth round of the shootout.