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Capitals fall to 0-3 with loss to Canadiens @NHL

It's not getting any easier for Adam Oates or the Washington Capitals.

The Montreal Canadiens scored four-second period goals and defeated the Capitals 4-1 Thursday night at Verizon Center. The Capitals fell to 0-3-0 under their new coach and visit the unbeaten New Jersey Devils on Friday.

"Things haven't been going our way," Oates said. "The team's probably a little fragile, and we gave them a 5-on-3 goal, which right away took the wind out of our sails a little bit."

After a scoreless first period, the Canadiens scored power-play goals by Tomas Plekanec and Andrei Markov 63 seconds apart, then added even-strength goals by Brian Gionta and Josh Georges.

"We took advantage of our power play, especially in the second period, and the power play gave us a chance to win this hockey game," Canadiens coach Michel Therrien said. "We were pretty solid too, 5-on-5, and at the time where we needed the [penalty] kills, guys sacrificed themselves to kill those penalties, so it was a good team effort."

Carey Price made 30 saves for the Canadiens, losing his shutout on a goal by Joey Crabb with 2:23 remaining.

Markov also had an assist, giving him four points in the Canadiens' first three games. Max Pacioretty and Raphael Diaz each had two assists Thursday.

Washington, 0-3-0 for the first time since 1993-94, will look to avoid an 0-4 start Friday when they face the Devils, for whom Oates was an assistant coach last season.

"I would say some of our mistakes are pure effort. It's very upsetting," Oates said. "I'm not pushing the panic button, but obviously it's upsetting. We're pros, you've got to be a pro, and you've got to do your job."

Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth made 18 saves in his first start of the season.

The Capitals have been outscored 14-6 in their three games (two at home) and have allowed seven power-play goals. Alex Ovechkin, playing right wing for the first time, has not scored.

"'Embarrassing' is almost the right term right now. 'Pathetic' is probably the better one," Capitals forward Troy Brouwer said. "I feel bad for the fans. I'd like to finish a game with at least 50 percent of the fans still in the stands. Their reaction is completely warranted, booing us."

Montreal won its second straight after losing its opener. It was the Canadiens' first win over the Capitals after six straight losses.

Material from team media was used in this report

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