Caps seek to get Oates first win in meeting with Canadiens

Adam Oates will take another shot at his first career win as an NHL head coach when the Washington Capitals host the Montreal Canadiens in Thursday's clash at the Verizon Center.

Oates, a Hall of Fame player, is off to an 0-2 start to his NHL coaching career and Washington has surrendered 10 goals in those two contests.

The Capitals were handed a 6-3 setback in Tampa to begin the shortened season and then lost a 4-2 decision to visiting Winnipeg on Tuesday. Evander Kane and Blake Wheeler each tallied a goal and an assist for the Jets to help spoil Washington's home opener.

"I thought we could have had better execution," said Oates. "We didn't give ourselves the opportunity to play the team game. We turned it over on the blue line too many times, little subtle things that could have gone better to help ourselves."

Matt Hendricks and Troy Brouwer recorded a goal apiece and Braden Holtby was charged with all four goals on 39 shots for the Capitals.

It was the first loss in a home opener for the Capitals since Oct. 6, 2000 against Los Angeles. Washington went 26-11-4 as the host in 2011-12.

Montreal split a two-game homestand to begin the season, losing to Toronto on Saturday before posting a 4-1 win over the Florida Panthers on Tuesday.

Andrei Markov scored twice to lead the Habs past the Panthers, recording his first two-goal game since Dec. 19, 2009.

"We all played better and put the puck on the net more," said Markov. "It was a team effort and we have to continue to play the same way and have to be better."

Tomas Plekanec and Alex Galchenyuk also lit the lamp for the Canadiens, while Carey Price made 27 saves in the victory.

The Canadiens are on the road for just one game before returning to Montreal for a two-game homestand against New Jersey and Winnipeg.

Washington has dominated the series with the Habs in recent years, winning six straight and posting a 9-0-2 record in the last 11 encounters. The Caps are 4-0-1 in their last five home tests versus Montreal.