The Canadiens broke open a scoreless game with two power-play goals early in the second period and went on to defeat the Washington Capitals 4-1 Thursday night at the Verizon Center.

The win boosted the Canadiens' record to 2-1; the Capitals are winless in three games.

The Canadiens were enjoying a 5-on-3 advantage when Tomas Plekanec opened the scoring at 3:47. Michal Neuvirth left a long rebound on a shot by Raphael Diaz. Andrei Markov corralled the loose puck in the slot and found Plekanec to the left of the goalie.

Markov took advantage of another rebound to make it 2-0 with his third goal of the season at 4:44. Neuvirth stopped Max Pacioretty's shot but failed to control the rebound.

Brian Gionta upped the count to 3-0 at 8:39 on a sequence which began with a stellar defensive performance by Raphael Diaz. The Swiss defenceman blocked two shots and then cleared the puck out of the Montreal zone. Rene Bourque chased the puck into the corner and found Gionta in front.

The second period ended with Josh Gorges beating Neuvirth with a shot from the point at 18:41.

Carey Price made 30 saves but lost his shutout bid when Joey Crabb scored with 2:23 remaining in the third period. He has allowed only three goals in his three starts.

Both goaltenders came up big while playing shorthanded in the scoreless first period. Mathieu Perreault took a tripping penalty in the first period and Neuvirth had to make five saves, including one on rookie Alex Galchenyuk.

The Canadiens found themselves a man short when Ryan White was called for holding at 16:15 and Price stopped drives by Alex Ovechkin and Mike Green.

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