Shorthanded Capitals Defeat Grubauer, Avalanche, 3-2 (OT); Nicklas Backstrom Snipes Game-Winner


The Washington Capitals beat the Colorado Avalanche by a final score of 3-2 in overtime to improve to a 2-1-0 record on their four-game road trip at Pepsi Center in Denver on Friday night. Goaltender Pheonix Copley made 25 saves in his third consecutive start for the Capitals. 

Capitals Lines at Avalanche

Forward T.J. Oshie, center Evgeny Kuznetsov and goaltender Braden Holtby each missed the game with upper-body injuries. Center Lars Eller took Kuznetsov’s spot on the top line in between forwards Alex Ovechkin and Tom Wilson and forward Andre Burakovsky took Oshie’s spot on the second line with forwards Nicklas Backstrom and Jakub Vrana.

Goaltender Philipp Grubauer started his sixth game of the season for the Avalanche and first against in his career against his former team.

First Period

Forward Carl Soderberg made it 1-0 for Colorado 1:08 into the game on a relay from center Tyson Jost. Defenseman Tyson Barrie got the puck off the boards to start the play that resulted in the first goal of the game.

The Capitals led 13-9 in shots and 3-1 in takeaways during the first period. Washington had only two giveaways while Colorado had five in the first. The team went 0-for-1 on the power-play.

The Avalanche led 10-6 in blocked shots and 7-6 in hits after 20 minutes. They won 75% of the faceoffs in the first.

Second Period

Devante Smith-Pelly finished off a beautiful passing play with Chandler Stephenson and Travis Boyd from below the left circle to tie the game with 11:05 to go in the second.

Ovechkin roared into the offensive zone, got it down the wing from Backstrom, and sniped it blocker side on Grubauer for his 13th goal of the season and a 2-1 lead with 1:31 left in the middle frame.

The Capitals led 25-18 in shots, including 12-9 in the second period, 4-2 in takeaways, and 12-9 in hits. Washington had two giveaways through 40 minutes of play while Colorado had nine.

The Avalanche led 14-11 in blocked shots and won 51% of the faceoffs through two.

Each team was not able to convert on the power play through two periods of play. The Capitals had two opportunities while the Avalanche had one.

Third Period

Colin Wilson buried the second opportunity off on the rebound off of Ian Cole’s shot and batted it out of mid-air to tie the game with 2:44 left in regulation. The Capitals challenged the call for goalie interference but the call on the ice stood.

Cole got called for holding on Smith-Pelly with 1:09 remaining to give the Capitals a power play.

The Capitals led 28-26 in shots, 18-17 in blocked shots, and 17-11 in hits. Washington had two giveaways while Colorado had eight.

The Avalanche led 8-2 in the third-period shots, 6-4 in takeaways,  and won 52% of the faceoffs.

Each team had 17 blocked shots and failed to convert on two power plays.

Each team was not able to convert on the power play. The Capitals had two opportunities while the Avalanche had one.

The game would go to overtime.


Backstrom roofed a shot, the first of the extra session, off a give-and-go with Tom Wilson on the power play 22 seconds into overtime from the slot for a 3-2 Capitals win.

The Capitals conclude their road trip at Bell Centre against the Montreal Canadiens on Monday night. Puck drop is at 7:30 on NBC Sports Washington.

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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11 Responses to Shorthanded Capitals Defeat Grubauer, Avalanche, 3-2 (OT); Nicklas Backstrom Snipes Game-Winner

  1. Diane Doyle says:

    Tonight’s Playlist:

    “Eli’s Coming”
    “By the Time I Get to Phoenix”
    “How Swede It Is”

    And in honor of Hershey, “Monster Mash”

  2. Jon Sorensen says:

    Turns out those Kuzy, Oshie and Holtby guys were getting in the way 🙂

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