WASHINGTON — Mikhail Grabovski tied the score with 5:32 left in the third period and had the go-ahead goal in a shootout to help the Washington Capitals snap their four-game losing streak with a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Friday.
Braden Holtby kicked away attempts by Alex Galchenyuk and Tomas Plekanec, giving Washington a 3-2 edge in the shootout. Eric Fair, who had a goal and an assist in regulation, also scored in the tiebreaker for the Capitals along with Alex Ovechkin.
Plekanec had a goal and an assist for Montreal, which had won four straight. Daniel Briere added a goal and Brian Gionta assisted on both regulation scores for the Canadiens.
Lars Eller and David Desharnais connected in the shootout for Montreal.
The evening began in bizarre fashion for Washington. After a pregame, lower-body injury to goalie Michal Neuvirth, the Capitals hastily signed video coach Brett Leonhardt to back up Holtby, who finished with 37 saves.
In a similar situation in December 2008, Washington suited up Leonhardt — a former college goalie — for a game.
Montreal outshot Washington 13-4 in the first period and broke on top at the 15:20 mark when Capitals defenseman Alexander Urbom failed to clear a puck from behind the net and Briere scored on a wraparound between the legs of Holtby.
Washington tied it 5:17 into the second period on a similar failure to clear by Montreal. Grabovski took the puck off the stick of Canadiens goalie Peter Budaj behind the net and directed it toward Fehr, who scored into an open goal.
But the Canadiens answered 67 seconds later in transition when Gionta centered to Plekanec, whose glancing shot bounced past Holtby.
Budaj finished with 24 saves. He was trying to win at Washington for the second time in eight days. A week earlier, he withstood a barrage of shots in the third period of Montreal’s 3-2 victory.
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