Many NHL teams were back in action yesterday for the final stretch of the regular season.
The Montreal Canadiens hosted the Washington Capitals yesterday evening at the Bell Centre.
After the break the All-Star Game allowed the players, Canadiens head coach Guy Carbonneau was a bit worried. The four days of inactivity could affect his players negatively. The team was on an interesting streak before the break and Carbonneau wanted to make sure that the winning sequence would continue after the break.
Montreal did not waste any time putting the game out of reach.
Mark Streit opened the score during a power play with a precise shot from the blue line.
The game breaker came a bit later as the Capitals were working on a two-man advantage. Tomas Plekanec intercepted a rink-wide pass and went through the defense untouched. As he was skating towards the net, the penalty to Sergei Kostitsyn ended and both players were alone with the Caps goaltender, Brent Johnson. Plekanec passed the puck to the young rookie who scored his fourth goal of the season.
Saku Koivu scored a third goal for Montreal before the end of the first period. And Alex Kovalev added another while goaltender Christobal Huet stopped 35 shots to register his second shutout of the season.
Final score: Montreal Canadiens 4, Washington Capitals 0.
The two teams will meet again on Thursday in Washington. Combined with an Ottawa victory, the win leaves the Canadiens only six points behind the conference leaders. Montreal has a record of 7-2-1 in their last ten games.