Oct 15, 2013; Denver, CO, USA; Colorado Avalanche goalie Semyon Varlamov (1) during the third period against the Dallas Stars at Pepsi Center. The Avalanche won 3-2. Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

Washington Capitals Leave The West With One Point

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The Washington Capitals didn’t have the greatest weekend, especially compared to their previous 4 performances. In Phoenix their win streak was snapped right away against the Coyotes – but they still walked away with 1 point, which meant they still took points away from 5 games in a row. Looking to bounce back and make it 6 consecutive games earning 1 point or more, the Capitals headed to the mile high city to take on the Colorado Avalanche for a Sunday evening match-up.

Patrick Bordeleau (58) – Marc-Andre Cliche (24)
Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The first period started with the Avs putting the pressure on the Caps right away, and it didn’t take long for Colorado to capitalize. Just 2:50 into the game and the Avs were already on the board – Patrick Bordeleau scored a questionable goal, his stick was quite high, but it was ruled a good goal. The Avs simply outworked the Capitals during the first period and it was represented on the scoreboard – not only in goals but also in other categories, i.e. shots on goal [Avs 12, Caps 4].

The second period saw the Avs continuing their onslaught of quality chances  – Caps netminder Braden Holtby certainly kept the score down, it could have easily been worse. As the period went on, it seemed most likely that the Avs were going to put another one on the board – instead it was the Capitals who responded and made it 1-1. Joel Ward scored his second goal of the weekend, ironically enough, he scored another close quarters goal – the puck caromed off the end wall and ended up right in front of the crease where Ward made a quick move around Varlamov to score.

The Avalanche didn’t waste much time in regaining the lead – not even 30 seconds went by and they scored their 2nd goal of the game. Nick Holden put in a slap-shot from the top of the face-off circle to score his first goal of the season as well as his NHL career. In the end it would also be deemed the game winning goal for the Avalanche.

Gabriel Landeskog (92)
Mandatory Credit: Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

The third period saw the Capitals have 3 power play opportunities – all of which were killed off by the Avalanche. They also started to have more chances on net – which was a direct result of the Caps out-shooting the Avs in the period.

Nothing got passed Semyon Varlamov though – and the Avs ended up scoring 2 more goals for insurance. P.A. Parenteau scored a one-timer off a nice pass from Matt Duchene and Gabriel Landeskog  basically went coast to coast and scored a wrist-shot five-hole on Holtby to secure the 4-1 victory.

If you told me that the Capitals would only walk away from this weekend road trip with 1 point, I probably would have been happy, maybe even a little bit shocked. The Capitals barely squeaked by the Minnesota Wild, and they were heading into back-to-back road games.

After seeing the two games played, I am still happy that the Caps came away with 1 point – but it should have been 2 points. I am not surprised that Washington lost to Colorado – the Avs have been a beast in the West and they already crushed the Caps once this season. The Capitals should have left Phoenix with 2 points though, which would have made the Avalanche game a little easier to swallow.

Washington has time to regain their composure and get ready for the Columbus – the Blue Jackets come to town for a match-up on Tuesday night at the Verizon Center. They are coming off a 5-2 win over the New York Islanders – they had previously lost 5 consecutive games. The Capitals have a chance to get back to their winning ways against a struggling Metropolitan opponent.

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