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Just about everything goes right for Capitals in win

Montreal Canadiens v Washington Capitals

WASHINGTON, DC - FEBRUARY 24: Alex Ovechkin #8 of the Washington Capitals celebrates after scoring a goal against the Montreal Canadiens at Verizon Center on February 24, 2012 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

Patrick McDermott

When it comes to a game versus one of the worst teams in your conference, it really doesn’t get much bigger than the Washington Capitals’ match against the Montreal Canadiens.

Alex Ovechkin was back in the lineup. The team held a closed-door meeting. An unlikely team captured their division’s lead last night. Plenty of media members delighted in condemning the oft-condemned team.

These are the kinds of games you need to win, at least in the spiritual sense. Frankly, these are also the ones that the Capitals muffed like a wobbly punt time and time again this season.

So sure, beating the Montreal Canadiens 4-1 might not strike some as impressive. In the grand scheme of things, it’s not.

Don’t blame the Capitals if they take it as a series of good signs, though. Alex Ovechkin scored an Ovechkin-like booming goal. Free agent bust Joel Ward salvaged a semblance of dignity with an empty-netter. Washington generally did everything it needed to do and more, which might just get them back on track to win its division - or at least get in the playoffs.

Sure, villainous Rene Bourque scored a goal, but aside from that it almost felt like old times for the Capitals.