Round 1, Game 4: Capitals in command of series

Canadiens’ Tomas Plekanec is checked by Capitals’ Alex Ovechkin during the first period on Wednesday night. John Mahoney, The Gazette

Preview | Matchups | Wednesday’s NHL schedule | Boone’s Game Blog and About last night … | Stubbs on Twitter | Hickey’s game story | Washington Post

AUDIO: Jacques Martin | Mike Cammalleri | Carey Price | Brian Gionta | Hal Gill

• At a Glance: It was a see-saw battle for the first 40 minutes of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference quarterfinal between the Canadiens and Capitals on Wednesday night. But the Capitals exploded for a pair of quick goals midway through the third period en route to a 6-3 win.The Capitals opened the scoring with a power-play goal by Alex Ovechkin 8:10 into the opening period. It was Washington’s first power-play goal of the series after going 0-for-14 up to that point. Michael Cammalleri got that one back a minute later on a backhand from in close that eluded Semyon Varlamov. The Canadiens took a 2-1 lead with a power-play goal of their own in the second period when Brian Gionta pounced on a loose puck behind Varlamov and pushed in into an empty net. It was the only one of 21 Canadiens shots that Varlamov could not stop in the second period. But for the second straight game, the Capitals scored a shorthanded goal, this time with seven seconds to play in the second period when Mike Knuble scored off a perfect feed from Boyd Gordon. Washington came out buzzing in the third period and it would eventually pay off as Ovechkin scored his second of the game 11:09 into the period, using his blistering wrist shot to beat Carey Price. Less than a minute later, Jason Chimera made it 4-2. Knuble scored the fifth Capitals goal into an empty net with 2:27 to play, but Dominic Moore scored with just over a minute left to play before Nicklas Backstrom scored with 10 seconds to play.

• What It Means: The Capitals lead the best-of-seven series 3-1

• What’s Next:
Game 5 of the series goes Friday night in Washington. Should Game 6 be required, it would be next Monday night in Montreal.

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