Canadiens Capitals Hockey

Washington Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov (92) skates with the puck against Montreal Canadiens center Nick Suzuki (14) during the first period of an NHL hockey game Wednesday, Nov. 24, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his seventh goal and added an assist, Alex Ovechkin had three assists in a game for the first time in nearly four years, and the Washington Capitals cruised to a 6-3 win over the Montreal Canadiens on Wednesday night.

Dmitry Orlov, John Carlson and Nic Dowd also had a goal and an assist each as Washington won its seventh out of nine in its return from a four-game West Coast trip.

Michael Sgarbossa scored his first career goal for the Capitals. Tom Wilson completed Ovechkin's three-assist night when he scored on a one-timer of his feed, bringing Ovechkin's season assist total to 18.

Ilya Samsonov made 25 saves while winning his seventh game in eight starts, despite seeing his shutout streak snapped at 170 minutes, 13 seconds.

Artturi Lehkonen and Jake Evans each had a goal and an assist for Montreal, which lost its fifth game out of six.

Cole Caulfield also scored. Jake Allen stopped 28 shots for the Canadiens in his return after missing four games with a concussion.

Washington opened a 3-0 lead inside the opening 15 minutes and never looked back.

Dowd opened the scoring on a wraparound follow-up of his own rebound.

Carlson made it 2-0 when his one-timer from the point sailed past a screened Allen and off the underside of the crossbar.

Then Montreal helped Washington's cause when Sgarbossa deflected Cedric Paquette's clearance attempt toward Allen's goal and Alexander Romanov mistakenly kicked it into his own net.

Ovechkin's pass across the crease to Wilson made it 5-2 in the third, and Orlov made it 6-2 before Lehkonen scored late. OVI'S UNUSUAL NIGHT

More known for his goal scoring, Ovechkin has contributed three assists 16 times in his career and achieved the feat for the first time since Feb. 15 of 2018.

With 18 assists on the season, he's in position to reach 20 for the first time since he had 38 during the 2018-19 campaign.

NOTES

Canadiens: Have allowed opponents at least one power-play goal in three straight games. ... Lost their sixth consecutive road game.

Capitals: Coach Peter Laviolette earned his 865th career win, passing Pat Quinn for sole possession of 11th place on the all-time NHL list. ... Have a perfect record in six games scoring five or more goals.

UP NEXT

Canadiens: Visit Buffalo on Friday.

Capitals: Host Florida on Friday.