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Lars Eller lifts Capitals to 5-4 overtime win against Canadiens


MONTREAL — Carey Price's late-game heroics were in vain.

Price followed up a sensational save at the end of regulation time by giving up a bad goal in overtime as the Washington Capitals came from behind to defeat the Montreal Canadiens 5-4 on Monday night.

With two seconds left on the clock in a 4-4 game, Price went post-to-post to deny Alex Ovechkin with the knob of his stick while sprawled out on the ice. A stunned Ovechkin, who had already scored twice, applauded the save and even gave Price a low five.

"Maybe a lucky save, I don't know," said Ovechkin, grinning. "Obviously it was a pretty cool play. It was a beautiful save. Fans were cheering for him and I was kind of the same."

Added Price, who made 29 saves in defeat: "It's obviously pretty cool. He's a great player and he's had my number for a while. Nice to get him back for once."

But Price's heroics were for naught when Lars Eller beat his former teammate with 1:26 left in overtime with a soft wristshot between the pads.

Price has now conceded at least four goals in six games this season.

"Carey did everything to keep us in this game," said head coach Claude Julien. "It may be five goals against him but it's thanks to him we were still in the game."

Forward Tomas Tatar echoed his coach's sentiments: "We have to be really thankful for Carey giving us the point. He was outstanding tonight. We didn't help him. He was tremendous."

Eller's goal completed the comeback for the visiting Capitals (10-7-3), who were down 4-2 in the second period.

Nicklas Backstrom halved the deficit at 13:20 shortly after the Canadiens failed to score on a four-minute man advantage.

Ovechkin tied the game at 4-4 with a one-timer just 1:02 in to the third period with the Capitals on a 5-on-3 power play.

The game mirrored the first meeting between these two teams earlier this month, when Montreal came from behind to beat the Caps 6-4.

"That game was actually a good learning experience for us and we've been trending in the right direction since that," said Eller, who has four goals this season. "Today we really showed that we didn't make those same mistakes again, at least not enough to lose the game."

Down 2-1 to start the second, the Canadiens (11-6-4) scored three quick goals in a 1:15 span.

Brendan Gallagher got the first, 20 seconds into the second period, on a centring pass by Phillip Danault.

After a scramble in front of the Washington goal, Jeff Petry gave Montreal a 3-2 lead on the power play when he spotted a loose puck in the crease and chipped it over Pheonix Copley's pad at 1:08.

With an assist on that goal, Max Domi became the first Canadiens player with a 10-game point streak since Vincent Damphousse in 1996.

Kenny Agostino, with his first goal in a Canadiens uniform, doubled Montreal's lead 37 seconds later when he deflected Artturi Lehkonen's shot past Copley, who was making his fourth consecutive start.

Copley was pulled after giving up four goals on 22 shots. Braden Holtby, in relief, stopped all 22 shots he faced.

Washington was without goal-scoring threats T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov (upper-body injuries).

The Canadiens got on the scoreboard first through Mike Reilly's second goal of the season at 9:20 of the first period.

Brett Connolly and Ovechkin scored 1:24 apart in the first to give Washington a 2-1 lead after 15 minutes of play.

Montreal's Noah Juulsen left the game in the first period after taking a puck to the face and was taken to the hospital.

Notes: Montreal's Jesperi Kotkaniemi and Washington's Dmitry Orlov and Tom Wilson each had two assists.

Kelsey Patterson, The Canadian Press

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