A late goal by Erik Cole spoiled a nearly-perfect first period for the Washington Capitals, but they still lead the Montreal Canadiens 2-1 after 20 minutes at the Verizon Center.
Mathieu Perreault helped the Capitals break in front with just 4:16 gone in the first period. After Alexander Semin's initial shot was blocked, the Russian winger collected the loose puck and slid a pass to Perreault, who was steaming down the slot. The goal was Perreault's third in four games this season against Montreal.
Jay Beagle put the Capitals up 2-0 at the 16:10 mark as the Capitals finished off a 3-on-1 break with Beagle scoring from close range after a centering feed by Matt Hendricks. Washington nearly saw the period to its conclusion, but Cole scored his 32nd goal of the season with 22 seconds to go as he tucked in a rebound of a missed Max Pacioretty shot.
For more on the Washington Capitals, visit SB Nation's Capitals blog Japers' Rink. For more on the Montreal Canadiens visit SB Nation's Canadiens blog Habs Eye On The Prize. For more on the NHL in general visit SB Nation's dedicated NHL hub.