The first thing you need to know about last night's game between the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Washington Capitals was that the Penguins scored on five of their first seven shots.

The second thing is that the 7-3 loss, witnessed by 16,168 at Capital Centre, pushed the Capitals' winless streak to six games. The last time they went this long without a victory, General Manager David Poile fired Bryan Murray as coach and installed Murray's brother, Terry.

The third thing is that Terry Murray all but said he was hoping to make a trade to shake up this lethargic bunch.

"David came to me and said he's coming to practice" today, Murray said. "It's the midway point {of the season} as far as I'm concerned and it will be evaluation time for all of the players. I'm glad he said that because it's my opportunity to have a conversation with him about some people on our team, to evaluate where we are and which direction we are going."

Asked specifically if he meant a trade, Murray said, "I don't have anything else to say."

The Capitals had the first five shots of the game, but the Penguins scored the first five goals. In a span of just 2:16, Pittsburgh scored four times. The rest of the night was little more than exercise.

Paul Coffey scored twice for Pittsburgh, which also got goals from Bryan Trottier, Barry Pederson, Zarley Zalapski, Jaromir Jagr and Peter Taglianetti. Dale Hunter, Steve Leach and Alan May scored for the Capitals.

"It's just a lack of discipline," said Capitals defenseman Kevin Hatcher. "Not all five guys are picking up their man or two are going to the same man.

"We're not getting the effort from everybody. You can't blame the goalies."

Goalie Mike Liut was the victim last night.

"It was 3-0 and I hadn't touched the puck," said Liut.

The Capitals had a couple of early chances before the hurricane hit.

Coffey took Phil Bourke's pass, waited for Liut to go down and lifted a shot past him for a 1-0 lead with 13:53 left.

That was shot No. 1. Just 39 seconds later came shot No. 2, also by Coffey, who broke loose from Peter Bondra and fired in the puck after Jagr centered from behind the net.

Liut took care of shot No. 3, but it proved to be only a brief rest for the scoreboard operator.

Liut had no shot on shot No. 4. Scott Young, recently acquired from Hartford, sent a goal-mouth pass to Trottier, who scored to tie former Bruins captain Johnny Bucyk for sixth on the all-time NHL point list with 1,369. That goal made it 3-0 with 12:12 left and 1:41 elapsed since the first goal.

Murray called time, but the tidal wave already had hit and Liut seemed adrift and abandoned by his shipmates.

In other circumstances, maybe he stops shot No. 5, but not in this one. On the very next shift, Pederson used Hatcher as a partial screen and took a wrist shot from above the circle that sailed past Liut's right arm and into the net. So, within 2:16, the Penguins had grabbed a 4-0 lead on five shots.

At that point, showing mercy for one, if not the other, Murray replaced Liut with Don Beaupre.

Beaupre did stop shot No. 6, but Zalapski then scored a power-play goal on shot No. 7 for a 5-0 lead with 7:56 left in the period.

Finally, the Capitals managed to break the Penguins' run. Hunter, who started the game playing between fourth-line wingers May and Nick Kypreos, scored a power-play goal with 5:39 left. Druce, who had been without a point in the previous nine games, made the pass to Hunter for his first of two assists.

The second came on the next goal. Peter Zezel collected a rebound and deftly fed Leach in the slot for Leach's eighth goal. That cut the deficit to 5-2 with 10:29 left in the period. But the Penguins took only 33 seconds to extend their lead on a goal by Jagr. May and Taglianetti scored in the third period to finish it.