NHL: Washington 3, Montreal 2 (SO)

March 31, 2012 at 10:54 PM

WASHINGTON, March 31 (UPI) -- Matt Hendricks and Alexander Semin scored in a shootout Saturday, lifting the Washington Capitals to a crucial 3-2 win over Montreal.

Jay Beagle and Mathieu Perrault added regulation tallies for the Capitals, who strengthened their grip on the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference with their third victory in four contests.

Michal Neuvirth turned aside 38 shots as the Capitals improved their margin over Buffalo to two points with three games left to play.

Erik Cole and Tomas Plekanec scored, while Peter Budaj made 31 saves for the Canadiens.

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