Final OT

Series (Game 4 of 4)

Washington leads 2-1

Game 1: Saturday, January 25th
Game 2: Sunday, February 9th
Game 3: Monday, February 24th
Game 4: Tuesday, March 25th

Capitals 4

(36-28-5, 85 pts)

Canadiens 3

(28-32-9, 73 pts)

7:30 PM ET, March 25, 2003

Bell Centre, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

1 2 3 OT T
WSH 0 0 4 4
MTL 1 0 2 3

D. Zubrus (Capitals - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

D. Audette (Canadiens - RW): Goals: 1, Assists: 1

S. Koivu (Canadiens - C): Goals: 0, Assists: 2

Boumedienne's OT goal sinks Canadiens

MONTREAL (AP) -- Jaromir Jagr's reputation helped the Washington Capitals get a game-winning goal from an unlikely source.

Defenseman Josef Boumedienne scored 3:09 into overtime to lift the Capitals to a 4-3 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night. Washington tied it three times in the third period.

Boumedienne, who was recalled from Portland of the AHL earlier in the day, beat goalie Jose Theodore to complete a passing play with Jagr and Sergei Berezin that evened Washington's six-game, cross-Canada road trip at 2-2.

"I saw that Jags was on the ice and I've seen that guy on TV so many times that I figured that if I could find the hole, he'd probably give me the puck, and sure enough, he did,'' said Boumedienne, who had one goal in four NHL games last season.

Jagr, Washington's leading scorer with 74 points, returned after missing six games because of a wrist injury.

"I didn't feel very good,'' Jagr said. "I had no jump and the skating wasn't there. We've still got five games left before the playoffs. I think I can get it where I feel very comfortable.''

Berezin got even with 3:08 remaining in regulation after Robert Lang and Dainius Zubrus scored tying goals earlier in the period.

The Capitals, sixth in the East with 85 points, are three points behind Tampa Bay for the Southeast Division lead.

Chad Kilger, Richard Zednik and Donald Audette scored for Montreal, which moved closer to missing the playoffs for the fourth time in five seasons.

"There's a price to pay if you want to win, and they didn't want to pay it in the third period,'' Canadiens coach Claude Julien said. "There's no excuse in the world, no reason for us not to win that game.''

The Canadiens are 10th in the East with 73 points with five games remaining.

After Kilger opened the scoring late in the first, Lang scored his 20th goal 2:10 into the third to tie it at 1.

Zednik scored his 29th on a power play at 5:50 to put Montreal up 2-1, just moments after Canadiens defenseman Andrei Markov failed to score on a penalty shot against Olaf Kolzig.

Zubrus drew Washington even again at 7:47 before Audette restored Montreal's one-goal lead with another power-play goal at 10:09.

"I thought we played a pretty good 40 minutes in the first two periods and it was up to us to finish it off with a strong 20 and then be able to say we played a strong 60 minutes, but that didn't happen,'' Julien said.

Game notes

The soldout crowd quickly drowned out a handful of boos and cheered throughout the playing of "The Star Spangled Banner.'' The Canadiens again played a videotaped message by Jean Beliveau urging fans to respect both the American and Canadian national anthems. ... Boumedienne had one goal in his only game with New Jersey last season before he was traded to Tampa Bay, where he was held pointless in three games. ... Theodore made a sensational sprawling save on Jeff Halpern 1:00 into the third as three Capitals found themselves unchecked in front of the net.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press