MONTREAL — The Montreal Canadiens' penalty kill was no match for the league's best power play.
Alex Ovechkin scored two of Washington's three power-play goals and Joel Ward the other as the Capitals won 5-4 in shootout victory Thursday night and moved into second place in the Metropolitan Division. They also improved to 25.3 percent on the year with the extra skater.
"We give lots of details and lots of attention to this," Ovechkin said. "Before my second goal, it was a huge one. We had to put all the effort that we had, and we did. Everybody was in, and you can see the results."
With Max Pacioretty in the penalty box for hooking, Ovechkin put Washington in front 2-1 late in the second period. Down 3-2 in the third, Ovechkin and Ward scored power-play goals within 1:13 to regain the lead.
Washington has won 10 of its last 12 when Ovechkin finds the back of the net. The Capitals are also 8-0-1 in their last nine games at the Bell Centre.
"We had a really tough time killing penalties," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "I understand that this is the best power play in the league, but we have to do a much better job than to let in three goals."
With his first goal — the 473rd of his career and fourth in his last three games— Ovechkin became the Capitals' career leading scorer, passing Peter Bondra.
"It's a huge accomplishment," Ovechkin said. "Sooner or later, somebody will beat my record, but it's nice to be in the history. Without my linemates and my teammates, I would have never been in this category and this position."
The Canadiens got goals from Jeff Petry, Tom Gilbert and Lars Eller before P.K. Subban sent the game to overtime with a goal at 15:01 of the third. The point gave Montreal the lead in the Atlantic division. The Habs have four regular-season games remaining before the playoffs.
Carey Price made two of his 15 saves in the extra frame, but the league leader in goals-against-average and save percentage couldn't stop Troy Brouwer in the fourth round of the shootout.
Braden Holtby made 23 saves for Washington and improved to 6-0-2 in his career against Montreal.
After a scoreless but fast-paced first period, the teams combined for five goals on 16 shots in the second.
Petry scored for Montreal 58 seconds into the period when his shot deflected off defenseman Karl Alzner to beat Holtby.
"It was probably one of my top two games," said Petry, who has scored twice in as many games. "In the next four games, I'll try to elevate my game to a level that when the playoffs start, I'll be sharp."
Ward scored his first of two at 10:36 before Ovechkin beat fellow Hart Trophy candidate Price with his league-leading 51st of the season at 14:08.
In his first game back from injury, Gilbert made it 2-2 with a wrister far side on Holtby, and Eller gave the Canadiens the lead at 18:39 of the second.
Ovechkin scored his second, again on the power play, at 11:06 of the third.
Ward gave the Capitals the lead 73 seconds later before Subban tied it at 4 with a rocket shot.
NOTES: Brian Flynn and Greg Pateryn were healthy scratches. ... Blue Jays catcher Russell Martin and pitcher Mark Buehrle were in attendance, as well as former Expos outfielder Vladimir Guerrero. ... Linesman Jean Morin, who officiated the last of his 1,638 career NHL games, received a standing ovation from the Bell Centre crowd.
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