Capitals Topple Avalanche, 3-2; Alex Ovechkin Scores 48th Goal Of The Season

Photo: Michael Martin/NHLI via Getty Images

The Washington Capitals downed the Colorado Avalanche, 3-2 Monday night at Ball Arena in Denver. The victory improves the Capitals record to 43-23-10 (96 points) on the season.

The Capitals opened the scoring on a steal and a breakaway goal by Garnet Hathaway but the Avalanche would answer late in the first period for a 1-1 tie at the first intermission.

The Capitals regained the lead on a power play goal from Alex Ovechkin midway through the middle frame for a 2-1 Capitals lead at the second break.

The Avalanche tied the game midway through the final from on a questionable goal, but the Capitals immediately regained the lead on Marcus Johansson’s second goal with the Capitals, making it 3-2. That would be the final.



Ilya Samsonov (22-10-0-4, 3.00 GAA, .897 sv%) got the start between the pipes for the  visiting Capitals. Darcey Kuemper (36-9-0-3, 2.41 GAA, .925 sv%) got the start in goal for the Avalanche. The starting forward lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:

Scratches: Connor McMichael, Axel Jonsson-Fjallby, Matt Irwin and Michal Kempny.


The Capitals opened the scoring early in the first frame on a steal and breakaway goal from Garnet Hathaway (14) at 4:02 of the first frame. Johan Larsson (14) and Justin Schultz (17) had the assists.

The Avalanche would answer late in the frame with a goal from Valeri Nichushkin (22) to tie the game with 2:55 remaining in the period. Bowen Byram (10) and Cale Makar (57) had the helpers.

The first period would end tied 1-1. The Capita;s led in shot attempts 17-16, with the Avs leading scoring Chances 14-8, high-danger chances 4-0 and xGF .78 to .46.


The Capitals regained the lead on a power play goal from Alex Ovechkin (48) at 13:27 of the middle frame. Evgeny Kuznetsov (52) and John Carlson (53) had the helpers.

The period ended with the Capitals holding a 2-1 lead. The Capitals led in shot attempts 13-10 in the second period and 30-26 after two periods.


The Avalanche tied the game on a questionable goal by Artturi Lehkonen (16) at 8:13 of the final frame. Nico Sturm (11) and Nicolas Aube-Kubel (11) had the assists.

The Capitals called for the review and lost, giving the Avalanche a follow-up power play, but the Capitals would kill the penalty.

The Capitals then answered with a goal from Marcus Johansson (8) at 10:46 of the third period. Conor Sheary (22) had the lone assist.

The Capitals will hold on for the 3-2 win.

The Capitals are back to work on Wednesday when they visit the Golden Knights in Las Vegas. Puck drop is set for 10:00 PM ET.


  • Garnet Hathaway gives the Caps a 1-0 lead with his career high 14th goal of the season. That also marked Hathaway’s 100th career NHL point (45g, 55a).
  • Both Johan Larsson and Justin Schultz have been credited with assists on Garnet Hathaway’s goal. Larsson, who has assists in four straight games, has set a new single season high for assists in a season (14).
  • Alex Ovechkin gives the Caps a 2-1 lead with his 48th goal of the season. He has now tied Teemu Selanne for the most goals by a player aged 36 or older in NHL history.
  • That marks Ovechkin’s 10th career goal against the Avalanche, the 28th different franchise Ovechkin has double digit goals against. He has joined Joe Sakic, Brendan Shanahan and Marian Hossa as the only players in NHL history to score at least 10 goals against 28 franchises.
  • Evgeny Kuznetsov and John Carlson were each credited with the assists on Ovechkin’s goal. Carlson extended his point streak to a season-high seven games (4g, 9a).
  • Marcus Johansson scored his eighth goal of the season to put the Capitals ahead 3-2. Johansson now has points in consecutive games (1g, 1a).
  • Conor Sheary recorded the primary assist on Johansson’s goal, his 22nd assist of the season, which ranks tied for sixth on the Capitals.


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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9 Responses to Capitals Topple Avalanche, 3-2; Alex Ovechkin Scores 48th Goal Of The Season

  1. Anonymous says:

    That team can beat anybody. Just saying.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Best played game by the Caps in a long time.

  3. Jon Sorensen says:

  4. DC Scappeli says:

    Fear the Caps! For all the experts who said the Caps weren’t going to make the playoffs, where are you now? They are hitting their stride at the right time. Doesn’t matter what their seeding is, let teams over look the Caps!

    Impose your game on the other team, boys!!! Don’t let them get you into a track meet! I hope Lavi and Mac are coming up with some even better strategies for the Panthers or whomever come playoff time. LGC!!!!

  5. novafyre says:

    I still think it will be a first round and out. I hope I’m wrong. Really hope I’m wrong. But I just don’t think we are flexible enough and I still don’t have faith in our two goalies. Or three. Or four.

    I also don’t like sitting our youth and wearing out our vets in the runup to the playoffs.

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