Mathieu Perreault

Capitals allow 3 goals in 3rd, lose season opener, 6-3

No one expected the Washington Capitals' season opener to be perfect. Not after just six days to learn a new system from a new head coach, not when there's chemistry to establish, communication to pin down and players on the roster without professional game experience in eight months.

Saturday night against the Tampa Bay Lightning, each of those elements played a role as the Capitals fell, 6-3, in Adam Oates' debut as coach.

There were plenty of little miscues, especially defensively, as players struggled to identify assignments or regroup when caught out of position. Washington also lacked discipline and took eight trips to the penalty box — including a pair that resulted...