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Capitals vs. Avalanche Recap: Washington Upsets NHL’s Best

Washington takes a 3 to 2 decision over the Avalanche in Colorado.

Washington Capitals v Colorado Avalanche Photo by Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

In a battle between the NHL’s best home and road teams it was the visiting Capitals upending the Avalanche 3 to 2 at Ball Arena.

Here’s Monday night’s Plus/Minus:

Plus: Johan Larsson has points in four straight games (1G, 4A).

Minus: Cale Makar’s visor mount.

Game notes:

  • Garnet Hathaway got the Capitals on the scoreboard and tallied his 100th career NHL point four minutes into the contest. Breezing through the neutral zone Hathaway walked around Jack Johnson before rifling his shot past Darcy Kuemper’s best effort.
  • Washington needed to kill a penalty shortly thereafter and were led in doing so by Ilya Samsonov. He turned aside several high quality Colorado chances from in close.
  • But later in the frame the Avalanche drew even with Washington. Valeri Nichushkin skated the puck down the left wing and put his shot past Samsonov and off the far post and into the net.
  • A firepower filled first period ended with Colorado outshooting their guests 11 to 10.
  • A little past the midway point Alex Ovechkin put the Capitals ahead again with his 48th goal of the season. Lurking to the net’s left during a power play Evgeny Kuznetsov got the puck into the blue paint and Ovechkin swept it home.
  • Also picking up an assist on Ovechkin’s goal was John Carlson, extending his point streak to seven games (4G, 9A)
  • Colorado was limited to only four shots on goal in the second period.
  • Artturi Lehkonen tied the score at two at right minutes into the third. Taking the puck off of Samsonov’s left leg pad in the crease Lehkonen stuffed it over the goal line.
  • Washington challenged the goal, citing goaltender interference, but Peter Laviolette’s case was dismissed. More stellar penalty killing from the Capitals nullified the failed challenge’s bench minor.
  • 33 seconds after the successful kill Marcus Johansson restored Washington’s lead. Conor Sheary’s deft pass through the slot served the puck on a platter for Johansson, who put it up and over Kuemper’s falling body.