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Canadiens drop Caps to 0-3 for 1st time since '93

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Canadiens drop Caps to 0-3 for 1st time since '93

WASHINGTON (AP) Andrei Markov's resurgence continued with a goal and an assist, and the Montreal Canadiens cruised to a 4-1 win Thursday night over the Washington Capitals, who are 0-3 for the first time in nearly two decades.

Finally healthy after twice tearing the ACL in his right knee, Markov was part of a second-period spree in which the Canadiens scored in all sorts of ways against a Capitals team that is out of sorts. In order, Montreal's goals came 5-on-3, 5-on-4 and 5-on-5 in a little over 6 minutes to take a 3-0 lead.

Tomas Plekanec, Brian Gionta and Josh Gorges scored for the Canadiens, and Carey Price made 30 saves. Montreal, the worst team in the Eastern Conference a year ago, has won two straight under new coach Michel Therrien since opening the season with a loss to Toronto.

The Capitals also have a new coach teaching a new system, and he is having a much harder time getting his players in gear after a compressed training camp in the lockout-shortened season. Adam Oates' team has been outscored 14-6 through three games, with seven of the opponents' goals coming on power plays.

Joey Crabb's goal with 2:23 to play was the lone goal for the Capitals, and two-time NHL MVP Alex Ovechkin remains without a goal on the season. Oates shook things up by putting Wojtek Wolski on the first line with Ovechkin, and the two ran into each other in the offensive zone in the first period. Michal Neuvirth made his first start of the season in net, but he had a realistic chance to stop only one of the four Montreal goals.

The result was frequent booing throughout the game for the Capitals, who are 0-3 for the first time since dropping six straight to start the 1993-94 season.

Washington also ended a six-game winning streak against Montreal and lost in regulation to the Canadiens for the first time since Nov. 20, 2009.

Markov has three goals on the season, helping to mitigate the absence of Canadiens defenseman P.K. Subban, who is a restricted free agent and has yet to come to terms on a new contract.

Markov supplied the assist on the game's first goal, sliding the puck to Plekanec during a two-man advantage while Ovechkin and Troy Brouwer were in the penalty box.

Markov put in an easy rebound to make it 2-0 during a power play just 63 seconds later.

The third goal came after a classic defensive lapse. Three Capitals chased the puck into the corner, leaving Gionta alone in front of the net to receive a pass from Rene Bourque.

Josh Gorges made it a four-goal lead late in the second period.

Notes: Washington hasn't been shut out by Montreal since 2008, but the Capitals have shut out Montreal five times during that span. ... Matt Hendricks, who got into a fight in Washington's previous game to try to give his team a boost, was at in again Thursday, tussling with Montreal's Brandon Prust in the third period.

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Follow Joseph White on Twitter:http://twitter.com/JGWhiteAP

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Report: Capitals trade for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

Report: Capitals trade for defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk

The Capitals decided not to sit out the NHL trade deadline after all as they reportedly acquired defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk from the St. Louis Blues on Monday.

It appears the price for Shattenkirk is reportedly a first-round pick, a second-round pick and rookie forward Zach Sanford.

Check back with CSN as the story develops.

RELATED: Trotz admits Ovechkin was "off" during Saturday's game

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Mired in shooting drought, Alex Ovechkin gets simple advice from Barry Trotz

Mired in shooting drought, Alex Ovechkin gets simple advice from Barry Trotz

NEWARK—After Saturday’s loss in Nashville, Caps Coach Barry Trotz acknowledged that Alex Ovechkin was “a little bit off.

On Monday, Trotz said he thinks Ovechkin needs to ramp up his focus and attention to detail—at the practice rink as well as on game days.

“With Ovi, it’s just bearing down,” Trotz said. “It’s bearing down in practice. It’s bearing down in the games. It’s going the distance on every play. If he just does that, it’ll start coming back.”

He added: “I think he got away from that.”

With six goals in the last 20 games and a total of 27 on the season, Ovechkin, the four-time defending Maurice “Rocket” Richard Trophy winner, is tied for eighth in the league—seven goals behind league leader Sidney Crosby.

Ovechkin has also fired fewer shots on goal in recent games.  

In 900 career games, he’s had only nine games without a shot on goal. Three of those shot-less efforts have come this month. (He scored against Predators but the goal was overturned because he was offside.)

Over the first 30 games of the season, Ovechkin took 120 shots (4.0 per game, 2nd most). Over the past 31 games, he’s taken 103 shots (3.3 per game, 10th most).

Trotz echoed the sentiments he shared Saturday night when asked about Ovechkin, who is on pace for 36 goals.

“He’ll get very streaky if he gets determined…” Trotz added. “He’s capable of getting 10 goals in the next five games.”

“But,” the veteran coach continued, “you got to start with getting shots.”

RELATED: POSSIBLE NEEDS AND TARGETS FOR THE CAPITALS