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Despite playing on back-to-back nights following a 3-0 loss at Pittsburgh, the Sabres found their stride as the game progressed. They outshot Washington 10-1 through the first 10 minutes of the third period and 13-6 over the final 21 minutes.

What the Sabres couldn’t overcome was Ovechkin, who showed no signs of the lower body injury that sidelined him for two games last week. With a goal and assist against Montreal, the Capitals’ captain now has six points in his past two, and combined for eight goals and six assists in his past 11.

Ovechkin upped his NHL-leading goal total to 38 and enjoyed his 14th multipoint game of the season. He also upped his career total to 790 points, moving into second on the Capitals’ list, one ahead of Mike Gartner.

“He’s the face of the franchise. And we count on him every night,” Capitals coach Adam Oates said, noting the distractions Ovechkin faces in preparing to represent Russia at the Sochi Winter Games in two weeks. “He’s had a lot of demands on his time being pulled in a lot of different directions. Glad to see him rewarded tonight. We needed the points, and he got it done for us.”

Capitals forward Nicklas Backstrom was shaken up after being elbowed to the head by Sabres defensman Mike Weber in front of the benches with a minute left in the third period. Backstrom was skating toward the bench well away from the play when Weber reached up and struck him.

Weber was not penalized and could potentially be disciplined by the NHL.

NOTES: Sabres RW Drew Stafford missed his second game with an upper body injury. … Capitals C Ryan Stoa was a healthy scratch after being called up from AHL Hershey earlier in the day. Stoa appeared in his first NHL game since playing 25 during the 2010-11 season with Colorado. … Earlier in the day, NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman revealed to The Associated Press that the league is considering the Sabres’ proposal to relocate the annual pre-draft combine from Toronto to Buffalo, where the team is building a two-rink hockey/entertainment complex.