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“For most of the year in the first periods we were the stars of the game,” said center Tomas Plekanec. “Most of the time we were up, but now we’re chasing the score after the first few minutes and then we’re not playing the right way.”

Coach Michel Therrien said it will likely be good for the Canadiens to get out of town to sort out their troubles. They end the season with road games in New Jersey, Winnipeg and Toronto.

“We’ve got to focus on our defensive game,” said Therrien. “We have a week to go, three games, and I’m convinced we’ll be ready for the playoffs.”

Brouwer, who has six goals in his last five games, got his second of the night on the Capitals‘ first shot of the second frame. Ribeiro won a battle in a corner and Marcus Johansson fed it to the right circle for Brouwer’s high shot that beat Price cleanly at 3:49.

Washington needed only 18 seconds on its first power play to score on a tic-tac-toe play from Mike Green at the point to Ovechkin in the left circle to Backstrom at the side of the crease at 7:50.

Ovechkin was parked in the left circle for a one-timer through Price’s pads on Washington’s second power play at 13:23 of the third.

Pacioretty scored on a feed from behind the net from Plekanec.

It was another rough outing for Price, but while many in the crowd took to mockingly cheered routine saves, he avoided being pulled for a third time in four starts.

After the game, players had to stay out on the ice to greet some fans.

“To go out there at the end and have to meet people that are great fans who support us very night and to have to shake their hands after a disappointing performance like that — they don’t deserve that,” said Gorges.