Ice Cold: Avalanche Bury Capitals 4-0, Caps Drop Ninth of Last 11 Games

Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals fell to the Colorado Avalanche, 4-0, Saturday night at Capital One Arena. The loss moved the Capitals’ record to 7-10-3 on the season.


Darcy Kuemper got the start for the Capitals. Alexandar Georgiev started between the pipes for the Avalanche. The starting lines and defensive pairs for the Capitals:

 Alex Ovechkin — Dylan Strome — Connor Sheary
Sonny Milano – Evgeny Kuznetsov  – Aliaksei Protas
Anthony Mantha – Lars Eller – Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Marcus Johansson — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson — John Carlson
Martin Fehervary — Nick Jensen
Matt Irwin — Trevor Van Riemsdyk

Darcy Kuemper
Charlie Lindgren

Extras: Alexander Alexeyev, Connor McMichael, Joe Snively, Dmitry Orlov
Injuries: Nicklas Backstrom, Tom Wilson, T.J. Oshie, Carl Hagelin, Connor Brown, Beck Malenstyn.


The Capitals and Avalanche skated to a scoreless draw for most of the first frame, then the Capitals fell into penalty trouble, giving the Avalanche a 5-on-3 power play for 90 seconds. The Avalanche would dent the twine with a tally from Cale Makar with 20 seconds left in the frame.

The period would end with the Avalanche leading 1-0. Capitals led in shots on goal 14-8 in the opening frame. Colorado was 1 for 3 on the power play. The Capitals did not have a man advantage in the first frame.


The Capitals would fail to convert on a power play roughly halfway through the middle frame. Much like the first period, the two clubs played back-and-forth hockey with neither team able to dent the twine.

With 6:46 left in the frame, Colorado star Nathan MacKinnon scored his fifth goal of the season on assists from Josh Manson and Alex Newhook to give the Avs a 2-0 advantage.

The two teams headed into the second intermission with the visitors ahead by two, although the Caps led in shots 22-16; the two teams both fired an even eight pucks on the opposing goalie in the second 20 minutes of play.


The Capitals and Avalanche continued to play staunch defensive hockey, with both clubs trading chances. With neither club giving much in the way of poor play, hard work resulted in the Avs potting their third goal of the night on a tally from veteran NHLer Andrew Cogliano, who put home his second of the 2022-23 season at the 8:57 mark on assists from Jacob MacDonald and JT Compher.

Artturi Lehkonen would add a fourth Colorado goal late in the period to solidify the insurmountable deficit for Washington to climb. The Capitals finished the game leading 32-29 in Shots on Goal, and failed to convert on two power play opportunities.


By Michael Fleetwood

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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23 Responses to Ice Cold: Avalanche Bury Capitals 4-0, Caps Drop Ninth of Last 11 Games

  1. Anonymous says:

    It doesn’t appear we are playing that poorly. Am I wrong?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I guess we’d be foolish expecting a win in this one.

  3. franky619 says:

    So sad to watch a team just lay down and take a beating like that. No grit no push back. This team needs some serious changes, unless Ovy does everything by himself they’re not missing the playoffs.

    • hockeydruid says:

      You mean they are missing the playoffs. Honestly making the playoffs for this team is punishment in that they would receive a lower drat pick. Too many injuries, to many nightly line changes so players cant get used to each other and play together, and a lame duck HC who should be fired and Scott Allen made HC, from now to the trade deadline who can be traded either for younger players or picks and after the season but before the draft fire the GM and after the draft gt a whole new front office and scouting staff and if Scott does well give him a 4 year contract to rebuild this team; which should have started 2 years ago.

      • KimRB says:

        I agree with Druid here, in everything.

        For those who don’t know, there’s a Russian kid available in this upcoming draft, who’s everything the Caps target. A Top 3 talent, who’s likely to fall due to being signed to SKA St. Petersburg till 2026. RW name of Michkov, is comparable to Patrick Kane, and would compliment Miroschnichenko nicely. The point is that the Caps have little chance to make the playoffs now. The higher the draft choice, the better for the future. Time to tank.

        • Jon Sorensen says:

          Agree with all of this. ☝️

          • KimRB says:

            So Jon, do we sell tickets to the Michkov bandwagon? I remember the Miroschnichenko bandwagon got pretty crowded last year. And so did the Gurianov bandwagon some years before that, though Dallas snagged him.

            Capitals top line, October 2026: Miroschnichenko-Lapierre-Michkov

      • franky619 says:

        yeah, meant not making the playoffs

  4. Diane Doyle says:

    Team can’t seem to score and have zero puck luck. They make any goalie look like Domiinick Hasek while the Caps goalies, in turn, will look like Vesa Toskala in comparison.

  5. Lance says:

    I tried to do the math earlier…I could be off…but the Caps were the #8 seed in playoffs last year with 100 pts. I thought we played well overall last year. Anyway, for this season, starting now we would need to win 40 games out of our remaining 62 to get to 97 points. That’s not going to happen. Sorry to say.

    The playoffs this year appear to be out of the question. We are more likely to lose 40 of our remaining 62 games. That would result in 61 points for the season and a likely top 5 draft pick in the highly regarded 2023 NHL Draft.

  6. Lance says:

    Which current Caps players can we build a Stanley Cup winner around? Ovie, Oshie, Backstrom and Wilson are here to stay. Beyond that:

    Strome looks like a solid 2C to me. He’s not a great playmaker but he does a lot of things well if you don’t expect 1C results from. He’s a candidate to be part of a rebuild/retool and he’s also a trade candidate because he would bring bang a nice return.

    Protas will be, I think, a solid 3rd line winger. He shows some scoring skills and plays hard.

    Fehervary looks like a solid top 4 or at least bottom pairing LD.

    Connor McMichael will eventually be, I think, a good 30 goals, 30 assists 2C.

    Miroschnichenko looks like a top 6 winger. Possibly a 1st line star.

    Hendrix Lapierre will eventually be, I think, a good 2C. 20 goals, 40 assists.

    Iorio impressed me in the pre-season. Looks like a top 4 RD.

    Most of the remaining current roster players won’t be here for a turn around. Mantha, Eller, Kuzy, Carlson, Orlov, Jensen, TVR, Milano, Sheary, Dowd, Hathaway.

    Other interesting prospects: Chesley, Suds, Alexeev, the goalies.

    Not sure if Carlson or Kuzy can be traded but a lot of the other vets can be. This season is a bust up no matter what we do. The best way forward I can see is to deal as many vets as you can for draft capital and take on/withhold some contract salaries. Acquire a half decent playmaker or two to help Ovie score. Get a couple of tough defensive defenseman who are no fun to play against. We’ll have a losing record no matter what we do. But at least we’ll add some draft capital. Hope springs eternal.

    Fire Laviolette, of course. His style isn’t working and won’t work. All the best to him.

    • Anonymous says:

      Interesting take, Lance I think I agree with a good portion of this. I need to ponder a bit.

    • franky619 says:

      Diasgree about Backstrom, at 9.2 mil he’s part of the problem. As a 3rd line center maybe, if he’s not making more than 3mil a year and even then, not good skater, average on face off, not physical and his playmaking ability are greatly exagerated. Get rid of him.

    • franky619 says:

      Mcm a 30 goal scorer and 30 assists? I’m not sure what you’ve seen that leads you to believe that. That kid is not a top 6 player, he’ll be trade soon enough then will bump around the league a few years and probably end up in the AHL.

    • novafyre says:

      Just read on THW that “Jeff Marek noted during the recent 32 Thoughts Podcast that they are a team that will not be rebuilding and they will certainly be going all-in as long as Alex Ovechkin is on the roster and chasing the goal-scoring record.” I think that there is a lot of truth in this. I just don’t see Ted doing a rebuild voluntarily as long as Ovi is in the mix.

      I also believe that if Lavi leaves it will be his decision. The Caps won the Cup with a grizzled old vet in 2018. They made it clear when they hired Lavi that they wanted someone with Cup winning experience. I don’t see them hiring Carbs (my first choice), Gabby (my second), or Gallant (my third). What grizzled Cup winning vet is out there? Trotz?

      • Jon Sorensen says:

        I think they are right, Fyre. They want to be as competitive as possible in the final Ovi years. When I spoke with Tobias Gessier, he said something interesting, he was planning to return, eye-balling the rebuild three years out, like he knew something.

        Miroshnichenko also mentioned the rebuild in a specific way in the interview we posted yesterday.

  7. James W Lewis says:

    They played hard, they tried. This team hasn’t got the players to compete right now nor the money to do anything about it.

    • Anonymous says:

      Exactly! The real question will be how will this team due when Willy, Orlov and Malenstyn return in the next few weeks.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I think the Caps and Commanders have the same number of wins in November?

  9. novafyre says:

    As I get older, I find that the easiest way to climb out of a hole is to never get into the hole in the first place. So maybe we need more old AARP grizzled vets. Not only did the Caps get themselves into a hole in this game, but they are placing themselves into that hole for this season. Currently, they rank 25th in the league and hold down the 7th wild card spot in the East.

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