LANDOVER -- The Washington Capitals made it easy for the Minnesota North Stars last night.
Capitals mistakes, combined with a lethargic effort, resulted in a 3-1 loss to the North Stars.
Washington did very little right on a night on which starting goaltender Don Beaupre was pulled by coach Terry Murray 15 minutes into the game, after the Capitals fell behind, 3-0.
Beaupre wasn't all to blame, as Capitals defensemen made several mistakes, and the North Stars got goals from Gaetan Duchesne, Mike Modano and Steve Maltais.
After Minnesota drew the early advantage, North Stars goaltender Darcy Wakaluk shut out Washington until newly acquired right wing Paul MacDermid scored 6:36 into the third period.
But Washington still lost its second straight at home and dropped to 0-3-1 in its past four games.
MacDermid came to the Capitals Monday in a deal with the Winnipeg Jets that sent defenseman Mike Lalor to the Jets.
The first period belonged to the North Stars, who scored three goals with a lot of help from the Capitals.
Washington seemed uninterested and looked even worse at times than it did in Sunday's 4-1 loss to the Boston Bruins.
Beaupre was pulled from the net at 14:44 of the first period, when Maltais' goal ran the lead to 3-0. Jim Hrivnak replaced him, made two saves in the rest of the period and went on to shut out Minnesota for the rest of the game.
Maltais' score came off a Washington turnover, as Al Iafrate tried to clear the puck from behind the Capitals net, but sent it right to Maltais at the left circle.
Duchesne began the scoring for Minnesota at 4:00 of the first period. He skated unchecked across center ice to the blue line, where he sent a shot that caromed off Kevin Hatcher's stick and sailed past Beaupre's left shoulder.
The North Stars made it look easy for their second goal with a two-on-one break that resulted in a score by Modano for a 2-0 advantage at 9:11.
Washington, which had a season-low home total of 18 shots Sunday, took only three shots in the first period to nine for the North Stars.
The game slowed in the second period, as neither team scored and the North Stars appeared content to sit on their 3-0 lead, taking only three shots.
There was only one penalty in the second period, an interference call against Minnesota's Brad Berry that gave the Capitals their first power play of the game at 5:44 of the second, but Washington did nothing with the man advantage.
The Capitals did come back to get an excellent scoring opportunity on a two-on-one break at 11:55, but Michal Pivonka's shot was turned back by Wakaluk.
Washington wound up with nine shots in the period.
NOTES: D Brad Schlegel, captain of the 1992 Canadian Olympic team, was called up from the Skipjacks yesterday and played for the Capitals last night. Schlegel, who signed last Friday, played two games with the Skipjacks and had an assist. . . . Capitals leading scorer Randy Burridge will undergo arthroscopic surgery repair a torn interior cruciate ligament in his left knee today and will be out at least three to four weeks. Burridge injured the knee Sunday in the loss to the Bruins.
Minnesota.... 3... 0... 0... --... 3
Washington... 0... 0... 1... --... 1
First period--1, Minnesota, Duchesne 8 (Gagner, Tinordi), 4:00. 2, Minnesota, Modano 26 (Bellows, Dahlquist), 9:11. 3, Minnesota, Maltais 2, 14:44. Penalties--Hunter, Was (slashing), 17:05; Ciccarelli, Was (roughing), 19:44.
Second period--None. Penalty--Berry, Min (interference), 5:44.
Third period--4, Washington, MacDermid 11 (Miller, Hatcher), 6:36. Penalties--Tinordi, Min (tripping), 3:01; Hatcher, Was (hooking), 12:11; Maltais, Min (hooking), 14:54.
Shots on goal--Minnesota 9-3-6--18. Washington 3-9-10--22. Power-play opportunities--Minnesota 0 of 3; Washington 0 of 3. Goalies--Minnesota, Wakaluk, 11-13-1 (22 shots-21 saves). Washington, Beaupre, 23-13-4 (7-4), Hrivnak (14:44 first, 11-11).
A--14,167. Referee--Rob Shick. Linesmen--Gord Broseker, Mark Vines.