Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin (8), of Russia, celebrates his goal during the first period of a NHL hockey game against the Montreal Canadiens, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017, in Washington. This was Ovechkn's second goal of the game.(AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Ovechkin gets historic hat trick, Caps beat Canadiens

October 07, 2017 - 10:06 pm

WASHINGTON (AP) — Alex Ovechkin scored four goals to become the first player in 100 years with back-to-back hat tricks to open a season, and the Washington Capitals beat the Montreal Canadiens 6-1 on Saturday night.

Ovechkin had three goals in the third period in Thursday's opening night win at Ottawa, then matched the feat while helping chase Montreal goalie Carey Price in the first period Saturday. He added his fourth goal at 16:46 of the second period against Al Montoya.

It was the fourth four-goal game of his career and second against the Canadiens.

Braden Holtby stopped 38 shots and T.J. Oshie also scored for Washington.

Ovechkin opened the scoring 20 seconds in, added his second goal at 2:51 and his third at 18:10. Evgeny Kutnetsov assisted on all four of Ovechkin's goals.

Oshie gave Washington a 2-0 lead 46 seconds into the game, and the Capitals led 4-0 after one.

Nathan Walker became the first Australian native to play in the NHL and had a grand debut when he scored Washington's sixth goal late in the second period.

The goal was originally credited to Devante Smith-Pelly, but when the change was announced to the crowd during the third period, some fans waved Australian flags in Walker's honor.

Brendan Gallagher beat Holtby early in the second period for Montreal's only goal.

Price allowed four goals on 14 shots. Montoya followed with seven saves.

NOTES: Montreal D Karl Alzner, who played his first nine seasons with the Capitals, was welcomed back with a video tribute in the first period. ... Peter Bondra, who scored the second-most goals in Washington, history was named the team's Director of Alumni Affairs and Business Development. Ovechkin tied Bondra's team record of 19 hat tricks.


Canadiens: Visit the New York Rangers on Sunday night in their third straight road game. They'll have their home opener Tuesday against Chicago.

Capitals: Visit Tampa Bay on Monday night. Washington plays eight of their 12 games in October on the road.


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