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


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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Caps recount the team Halloween party

Caps recount the team Halloween party

By now you’ve likely seen the pictures and videos from the Caps’ Halloween party on Sunday. The players were all smiles after practice on Monday when asked about the night’s frivolities.

“I use gel for my hair and look like a real American guy so it was kind of cool,” said Alex Ovechkin who went as a prison inmate.

One of the best costumes of the night was that of Andre Burakovsky and Tom Wilson who went as Brennan and Dale from the movie “Step Brothers.”

“Me and Tom, we wanted to do something together,” Burakovsky said, “And I came up with the idea because we’re pretty close, we’re good friends, you know, step brothers. I looked online for funny Halloween costumes and I saw like a picture of the step brothers.”

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When asked if he had actually seen the movie, Burakovsky revealed that he had not.

“I’ve heard a lot about it and now I have to see it.”

And then there was Zach Sanford.

The most memorable moment from the evening was a video of Zach Sanford singing the song “Sweet Caroline” while dressed as Dog the bounty hunter.

As the party moved to a karaoke bar, Sanford, of course had to get things started.

“Because he was rookie he have to do something first,” Ovechkin said.

“I wanted to do some Missy Elliott but [Braden Holtby] ended up picking ‘Sweet Caroline’ for me,” Sanford said.

And the rest is internet history (though you can’t help but wonder what a video of Sanford singing Missy Elliott would have looked like).

But whatever you may have thought when you saw him sing, Burakovsky was apparently worse. 

“Burkie was entertaining but he wasn’t very good,” Sanford said. “He didn’t really know the words.”

Being Swedish, Burakovsky of course had to sing the ABBA classic “Dancing Queen.”

“I think it was just Holtby that gave me the mic and he’s like here and I’m like what do you want me to do with it? And this song came on and obviously it’s ABBA, it’s Swedish so they wanted me to sing it so I did a little solo thing there.”

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Sidney Crosby a full-participant at Penguins practice as he works back from latest concussion

Sidney Crosby a full-participant at Penguins practice as he works back from latest concussion

Sidney Crosby has not yet played this season due to a concussion, but it looks like he is nearing his return as he was a full participant in practice on Monday, according to the Pittsburgh Penguins.

There still remains no timetable for his return, but today's practice is certainly a good sign.

"Sid is day-to-day, as he has been," Penguins coach Mike Sullivan said, per the team's website. "We'll take tomorrow as it comes. It's obviously a big step when he joins the group. To have him join the group in a full-contact practice like that is encouraging from our standpoint."

Sullivan would not rule Crosby out of the team's game on Thursday.

The latest concussion does not seem to be as severe as some of the others Crosby has suffered as he has been able to continue skating. Given Crosby's concussion history, however, both the team and player appear to be taking a cautious approach.

"It was just good to be back on the ice with the guys," Crosby said. "It's not easy watching. To be out there was nice and hopefully a good step."

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