Capitals Bury Avalanche 5-2, Jakub Vrana Scores 9th Goal of Season, Kuznetsov Tallies 3 Assists

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals downed the Colorado Avalanche 5-2 Tuesday night at Capital One Arena. The win improves the Capitals record to 19-12-1. The Capitals return to action Thursday night when they visit the Bruins in Boston. Puck drop is 7:00 PM. 

STARTERS
Braden Holtby (16-7-0, 2.67 GAA, .918 sv%) got the start in goal for the Caps. Former Cap Semyon Varlamov (9-7-0-1, 3.14 GAA, .905 sv%)  got the start between the pipes for the Avalanche. The starting lines for the Capitals:

Ovechkin-Backstrom-Wilson
Vrana-Kuznetsov-Chiasson
Connolly-Eller-Burakovsky
Stephenson-Beagle-Smith-Pelly

Orpik-Carlson
Orlov-Niskanen
Djoos-Bowey

Scratches: T.J. Oshie missed a third-consecutive game due to an “upper body injury” sustained against San Jose on December 4th. Taylor Chorney was the healthy scratch.

FIRST PERIOD
A rather pedestrian start to this one, with the Avs registering the only shot on goal in the first five minutes of play.

Jakub Vrana would be the first to light the lamp on the end of a rush with Evgeny Kuznetsov at 5:25 of the opening frame.

And that was it. The Capitals would take a 1-0 lead into the locker room for the first intermission. Shots on goal were tied 7-7.

SECOND PERIOD
The Capitals opened the middle frame on the penalty kill, but would make seemingly easy work in killing the penalty, not allowing a shot on goal.

However, the Avs would step-up their offensive zone time and forechecking following the penalty kill, and would eventually tie things up with a goal from Colin Wilson at the 4:13 mark.

John Carlson would regain the lead for the Caps with a blast from the top of the slot at 17:42, giving the Caps a 2-1 lead, late in the middle frame.

The period would end with the Capitals holding on to a 2-1 lead. the Capitals outshot the Avs 10-5 for the second period, and led 17-12 after two periods of play.

THIRD PERIOD
The Capitals would stretch their lead to 3-1 with a convincing one-timer by Brett Connolly from the Ovechkin spot at 5:15 of the final frame. The Capitals had a 6-on-5 advantage with Holtby pulled as a result of a delayed penalty. This was Connolly’s 6th tally of the season.

Matt Niskanen would seal the deal with a 4-on-4 goal, assisted by Evgeny Kuznetsov at 16:19 of the final frame. Kuznetsov had three assists on the night.

The Avalanche would not give up, cutting the lead to 4-2 with a goal by Tyson Jost at 18:57 of the third period. However, the Capitals would add an empty net goal by Devante Smith-Pelly to restore the three goal lead. The Capitals would hang on for the 5-2 win.

By Jon Sorensen

SHAVINGS

  • Entering tonight’s game, John Carlson was tied for seventh among NHL defensemen in points, now has 23 on the year after his third goal of the season.
  • This was Madison Bowey’s 2nd career 2-assist game.. First was in Edmonton in his 5th game in Caps uniform.
  • NHL box score is here.

SCENES FROM F’ STREET

Let’s go caps #comeupSZN #hokiegang #sorrymrsjackson

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Puttin’ on the foil.

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About Jon Sorensen

Jon has been a Caps fan since day one, attending his first game at the Capital Centre in 1974. His passion for the Caps has grown over the decades, which has included time as a season ticket holder, social media and community organizer, and most recently led to the founding of NoVa Caps in 2014. Jon earned a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering at Old Dominion University, and is a Systems Engineer during intermissions, which has been instrumental in supporting his Capitals habit.
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