The Washington Capitals beat the Colorado Avalanche 4-2 on Friday night at the Pepsi Center in Denver. The win raised the Caps record to 55-16-6 (116 points). The 55 wins set a franchise record for most wins in a season. The win also increased Braden Holtby’s win total for the season to 47; one shy of tying Martin Brodeur’s NHL record. The Capitals now head for Arizona for their tilt against the Coyotes on Saturday night. Puck-drop is 10:00 PM EST.
Nicklas Backstrom was out of the lineup tonight due to an upper body injury he sustained in the last game against the Flyers. Michael Latta and Mike Weber were the Caps healthy scratches for the game. The goalie match-up for tonight’s game, provided by @washcaps:
The Capitals dominated all facets of play in the game, showing better quickness, crisper passing and held a huge advantage in zone time. The Caps rang three pipes in the first period, but could not find the back of the net. Caps led 15-7 in SOG after one. The lop-sided play would continue in the second period, but this period the Caps would find the back of the net three times. The Caps completely dominated the entire game, but had some poor puck-luck, hitting the post five times, and just eking out a 4-2 victory. The Caps out-shot the Avs 47-19 for the game. Team stats for the game can be found here: Player stats for the game can be found here: Face-off stats for the game can be found here: Photos from the game can be found here:
In the first 30 seconds, Marcus Johansson, centering the top line tonight for the absent Nicklas Backstrom, received a slick feed from Alex Ovechkin at the center point and rang one off the post. The Caps continued the offensive zone domination, with several nice scoring chances, but none of them finding the back of the net. (Heading into the game, the Avs had the league’s worst possession numbers for 5-on-5 play, and it showed early on). Mike Richards would ring another one off the pipe at the 7:00 mark of the opening frame, but again no pay dirt. The Avs were outplayed in every facet of the game for the first 15 minutes, yet the game remained scoreless. Justin Williams was called for the game’s first penalty at 15:17 of the opening frame. Jay Beagle had a short-handed break-away, but rang his shot of the post, for the teams third post ringer in the first period. The Caps would successfully kill off the Avs man-advantage, yielding just a single shot to the Avs. Jay Beagle was called for high-sticking with 31.2 left in the first period. The first period would end in a 0-0 tie. The Caps led in shots on goal, 15-7.
The Capitals would kill the remaining time on the Avs power play to start the middle frame. T.J. Oshie would ring another off the post at the 3:45 mark, the 4th post of the game for the Caps. Tom Wilson would paste the Avs Nikita Zadorav at 4:10, a perfectly legal but devastating hit.
Jay Beagle would finally break the ice, knocking one home, unassisted at 8:50 of the middle frame.
Alex Ovechkin would stretch the Caps lead to 2-0 on a power play goal at 12:57 of the middle frame.
Jason Chimera would add another on a tip-in at 14:16 of the second period.
The Avs would get on the board on a power play goal by Jarome Iginla at the 19:19 mark of the second period.
The second period would end with the Caps leading 3-1. The Caps also led 30-13 in shots on goal.
The Capitals continued with decent offensive zone pressure in the third period, including hitting a fifth post on a shot attempt. The Avs would draw to within one on a goal by Gabriel Landeskog at the 14:21 mark of the final frame.
T.J. Oshie would add an ENG to put the game out of reach for the Avs. The Capitals would hang on for the 4-2 victory.