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Capitals vs. Avalanche Recap: Grubauer Leads Washington to Shutout Victory

The Capitals kept the Avalanche offense off the scoreboard and rode goals from Ovechkin and Oshie to a 3 to 0 win.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

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The Capitals hosted the Colorado Avalanche in their second home game of the season, beating their guests 3 to 0 behind a Philipp Grubauer shutout. The Avalanche had played 61 minutes against the Pittsburgh Penguins last night and Washington took advantage of their well rested legs to keep Colorado's offense contained.

Tuesday night's Plus/Minus:

  • Plus: Washington outshot Colorado by four in the game's first period, putting 20 pucks on old friend Semyon Varlamov through twenty minutes.
  • Minus: The judges adamantly refused to give Matt Duchene a perfect 10 for his front flip in the first frame courtesy of Dmitry Orlov's right hip.

Ten more notes on the game.

  • Washington recognized goaltender Braden Holtby's Vezina Trophy winning 2015-2016 season with a video before the game featuring current teammates and Capitals legends, followed by a ceremonial gift from Ted Leonsis. Barry Trotz wisely, however, opted to start Grubauer tonight instead.
  • And congratulations are due for Grubauer who registered his first NHL shutout in his 33rd start. Tonight he was perfect in an impressive 18 save outing.
  • On Washington's first power play of the night Justin Williams was a quarter inch away from giving the Capitals an early lead only to be denied by Francois Beauchemin's skate on the goal line.
  • But as the first period neared its conclusion Alex Ovechkin broke the power play's goalless drought with a sharp shortside shot for his first of the season. A smooth pass from Orlov placed the puck in Ovechkin's wheelhouse and behind Varlamov moments later.
  • Jarome Iginla and Tom Wilson quickly danced in the middle frame at Iginla's insistence and it was obvious enough that Iginla was also tagged with an Instigator. Then, in classic fashion, he earned himself an additional ten minutes in the penalty box with his mouth.
  • And T.J. Oshie made Colorado pay with his first goal of the season, 12 seconds into Iginla's Instigator. Oshie swept a sweet, soft pass from Nicklas Backstrom past Varlamov on his far side to extend the Capitals' lead to two.
  • Patrick Wiercioch wired a slapshot off of the right post in the third period but that was as close as Colorado's offense got to lighting the lamp all night.
  • Colorado's frustration was never more evident than halfway through the third period when Rene Bourque took a silly penalty for high sticking John Carlson to negate his team's man advantage chance.
  • And with a little more than six minutes left in the game Oshie snapped home an Ovechkin rebound from atop the goal crease to complete the game's scoring.
  • Offseason free agent signing Brett Connolly made his Washington debut with rookie Zachary Sanford a healthy scratch. He had two good offensive opportunities in the first period and seemed to have his legs under him in 12 minutes of work tonight.

Game highlights: