Washington Capitals can’t keep up with red hot Avalanche

The Washington Capitals gave up four first period goals and couldn’t recover.

The Colorado Avalanche continued their undefeated reign with a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals. The Capitals have dropped all three home games although this was the first home ice defeat that came in regulation.

The Avalanche first struck at 3:42 with a wrist shot from downtown by Erik Johnson. Andre Burakovsky was credited with a secondary assist for setting it up. Nazem Kadri had the primary.

At the six minute mark Colorado doubled their lead. Nathan MacKinnon made  a great play to keep the puck in the zone. Mikko Rantanen found Nikita Zadorov and Zadorov finished the spin-o-rama.

Kadri used his speed and scored at 7:54 to end the night for Braden Holtby. That goal was just their third shot of the game and the previous two went in. Ilya Samsonov came in for the remainder of the game.

Late in the period after Jonas Siegenthaler went to the box for cross checking, Rantanen notched a power play goal at 9:25. It was 4-0 after the first period with the Caps being outshot 10-4.

The biggest highlight in the period wasn’t the four goals. It was Tyler Lewington dropping the gloves and fighting Valeri Nichushkin. That came midway through the opening period and Lewington was given both an instigator penalty and a misconduct.

In the second period the Caps finally got on the board. While playing four-on-four with Tom Wilson and Samuel Girard in the sin bin, Alex Ovechkin forced a turnover and Lars Eller struck for his second goal of the season.

The Caps cut the deficit in half with 4:32 remaining in the second period with T.J. Oshie backhanding his shot past Philipp Grubauer after a nifty pass through traffic by Dmitry Orlov. Kuznetsov was credited with the secondary assist.

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The Avalanche got an insurance goal in the third period at 4:24 with Samsonov out of the box trying to play the puck from Tyson Jost but he found a wide open Matt Nieto.

Down 5-2 and on the power play attack after Gabriel Landeskog slashed Kuznetsov, Ovechkin brought the Caps within two with a one-timer from downtown.

MacKinnon sealed the win with an empty net goal. Grubuaer, a former Caps backup netminder, finished stopping 29-of-32 shots for a .906 save percentage. Samsonov stopped 19-of-21 for a .905 save percentage.

The Capitals continue their three-game homestand on Wednesday night against the Toronto Maple Leafs at 7 p.m.



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