Avalanche Flatten Capitals in First Period, Hold On For 6-3 Win

Photo: @ColoradoAvalanche

The Colorado Avalanche stormed out to an early 4-0 lead in the opening frame and held on for a 6-3 win over the Washington Capitals Monday evening at Capital One Arena. The Capitals gave up three goals in the first eight minutes of the game and Braden Holtby was immediately replaced by Ilya Samsonov. The Avs would add a power play goal for a 4-0 lead at the first intermission. The Capitals would finally get on the board with a tally from Lars Eller early in the second, and TJ Oshie would add a tally late in the period for a 4-2 Avs lead at the second intermission. The Avs would stretch their lead to 5-2 early in the final frame before Alex Ovechkin scored late in the period to make it 5-3. The Capitals threatened to further close the gap before the Avs added an empty net goal for the 6-3 win.

The Capitals remain winless at home (0-1-2) so far this season, as their record falls to 3-2-2 on the season. They are back in action Wednesday when they host the Toronto Maple Leafs at Capital One Arena. Puck drop is set for just after 7:00 PM.


Braden Holtby (3.67 GAA, .868 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the Capitals. Philipp Grubauer (2.33 GAA, .931 sv%) got the start in goal for the Avalanche. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:

Michal Kempny (hamstring) did not play tonight vs Colorado. Head Coach Todd Reirden said before the game he’s hopeful Kempny will be able to play in one of the other two home games this week.

The Avalanche opened the scoring with a goal from Erik Johnson at 3:42 of the first period. Nasem Kadri and Andre Burakovsky were credited with the assists.

The Avalanche would quickly make it 2-0 with a goal from Nikita Zadorov at 6:00 of the first frame.

Nazem Kadri would make it 3-0 at 7:54 of the first period. The Capitals would pull starting netminder Braden Holtby and replace him with Ilya Samsonov.

The Avs would make it 4-0 with a power play goal from Mikko Rantanen at 9:25 of the first period.

Tyler Lewington and Valeri Nichushkin would drop the gloves following Colorado’s 4th goal.

The period would conclude with the Avalanche holding a 4-0 lead. The Avalanche led in shots on goal 10-4 through the first 20 minutes.

The Capitals would get on the board with a goal from Lars Eller at 6:56 of the middle frame.

The Capitals would cut Colorado’s lead to 4-2 with a goal from TJ Oshie at 15:28 of the second period.

The second period would end with the Avs lead 4-2. Washington led in shots on goal 16-7 for the middle frame, and 20-17 after two periods.

The Avalanche would regain a three-goal lead with a tally from Matt Nieto at 4:24 of the final frame. The goal was setup by a blunder by Ilya Samsonov behind the goal.

Alex Ovechkin would add a goal for the Capitals at 17:39 to make it 5-3. Evgeny Kuznetsov and

John Carlson would appear to score 15 seconds later to make it 5-4, but the Avalanche called for review and the play was deemed offsides. Colorado would add an empty net goal for the 6-3 win.


  • The NHL box score is here.
  • The Capitals lead in shots on goal 32-25.
  • Braden Holtby was 0 for 3 in shots faced for a .000 game save percentage.
  • Ilya Samsonov stopped 19 of 21 for a .905 game save percentage.
  • Lars Eller scored his second goal of the season. He now has five points (2g, 3a) in seven games, the most points he’s recorded in his first seven games of the season since joining Washington in 2016-17.
  • Andre Burakovsky made his first appearance at Capital One Arena since being traded to the Colorado Avalanche this past summer. The Capitals presented a tribute video in the first period in honor of his return. (More here).

By Jon Sorensen


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They lost but we still had fun.

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Home. Stand. Begin.

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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 interest in the Caps has grown over the decades and included time as a season ticket holder. He has been a journalist covering the team for 10+ years, primarily focusing on analysis, analytics and prospect development.
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11 Responses to Avalanche Flatten Capitals in First Period, Hold On For 6-3 Win

  1. Day One Caps Fan says:

    Disgusting performance of Goalie ineptitude. I suppose at this point we have merely a “Goalie Controversy” but Day One has seen all he wants to see of Mr. Braden Hole-by — the washed-up has-been that has cost the Caps at least three games this year.

    Get him out of here! Give me Sammy or Copley. They can stop the puck. Caps actually played Avs very well and had territorial advantages all game. But it’s all for naught when SWISS CHEESE between the pipes hands over the game on a silver platter.

    And a very unlucky disallowed goal at the end. Caps position players deserved better. Memo to Baldy and GMBM: You have a major goalie problem. Fix it!

    %^$^&$%#@! That was me screaming.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m with ya for most of your comment, Day One, and yes Holtby making 0 stops on 3 shots is concerning, but I think the defense is starting draw most of my attention right now. It isn’t very good at this stage of the season.

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