National Hockey League
Washington 2, Montreal 1
When: 7:00 PM ET, Thursday, April 4, 2019
Where: Capital One Arena, Washington, District of Columbia
Referees: Brian Pochmara, Kelly Sutherland
Linesmen: Scott Cherrey, Kiel Murchison
Attendance: 18506

Nic Dowd scored the tie-breaking goal early in the second period, and goalie Braden Holtby made 33 saves as the Washington Capitals clinched the Metropolitan Division title with a 2-1 victory over the visiting Montreal Canadiens on Thursday night.

This is the fourth consecutive Metropolitan Division title for Washington, which won the Stanley Cup last season for the first time in franchise history.

The Capitals now have 104 points while the New York Islanders can finish with no more than 103. New York was playing Florida, whom it later defeated 2-1 in a shootout, when the Washington game ended.

Despite the loss, Montreal remains in the wild-card hunt. Carolina defeated New Jersey 3-1 to give the Hurricanes 97 points, three ahead of both Columbus and Montreal, who both have 94. Carolina's win clinched one of the two wild-card spots in the Eastern Conference.

The Canadiens now will not be able to catch Carolina, and the Blue Jackets -- who did not play Thursday -- have two games left and take on the New York Rangers on Friday. If the Canadiens finish in a tie with Columbus at season's end, the Blue Jackets would win the tiebreaker, and Montreal would stay home.

Washington took a 1-0 lead late in the first period when Lars Eller scored against his former team, putting a backhander past goalie Carey Price with 1:24 remaining. Brett Connolly fed Eller after a Montreal turnover to set up the goal.

But that lead did not last long as the Canadiens tied it just 56 seconds later on a Shea Weber power-play goal. A deflected puck came over to Weber in the left circle, and he put a quick shot past Holtby.

That was Weber's 99th career power-play goal.

The Capitals took the lead back in the second period on a Dowd goal. Andre Burakovsky started the play after Montreal turned over the puck and made a pass to Dowd in the high slot, and he beat Price at 2:58 for a 2-1 lead.

After that, though, neither team scored although both had chances. Holtby and Price (29 saves) both made some key stops, especially in a third-period with Montreal and the Capitals both on the attack.

The Canadiens pulled Price late, but they could not tie the game, and Washington finished off the division-clinching victory.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Montreal   Washington
Shea Weber 1 Points Nic Dowd 1
Shea Weber 1 Goals Nic Dowd 1
Joel Armia 1 Assists Andre Burakovsky 1
Shea Weber 1 Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Carey Price .935 Save Percentage Braden Holtby .971
Carey Price 29 Saves Braden Holtby 33
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Montreal 34 1 1-1 1-1 2 26
Washington 31 2 0-1 0-1 2 25
Upcoming Games
  • Washington will play their next game at home against NY Islanders. The Capitals have a W/L % of .583 after a win and .606 after a loss.
  • Montreal will play their next game at home against Toronto. The Canadiens have a W/L % of .442 after a win and .632 after a loss.