The Capitals played perhaps their best period of the season in the first Thursday against Montreal, but when they gave up a pair of goals in 57 seconds early in the second period, every last morsel of momentum was destroyed.

They never recovered, despite having more than 35 minutes of play remaining in regulation to fight to remain relevant in the game. Afterward, when asked what went wrong, Coach Adam Oates described his team as "probably a little bit fragile."

"Things haven't gone our way so far. We haven't really had a lead and just the 5-on-3 they got a goal and we're behind the 8-ball," Oates said. "It takes the air out of the building. We were playing fine. It's an uphill battle."

Through the first 180 minutes of the season, the Capitals have led for a grand total of 2 minutes and 32 seconds. Their spurts of strong play, usually in the first period, haven't translated into goals, and even when they do, the edge is short lived. They've trailed their opponents for 122:45 so far this season and played tied for 54:43.