The Washington Capitals (2-0-1) took on the Colorado Avalanche (2-1-0) at the Verizon Center in Washington D.C. Tuesday night. The Capitals had a solid performance, both offensively and defensively, and won the game by a score of 3-0. Net-minder Philipp Grubauer posted an 18 save shutout.
T.J. Oshie Scores Twice as Capitals Shutout Avalanche
Washington’s star forward and captain Alex Ovechkin opened the scoring at 15:44 of the first period with a power play blast from the let circle. Ovechkin’s first goal of the season was assisted by Dmitry Orlov and Marcus Johansson. The scoring continued when Caps forward T.J. Oshie scored his first of the season, on the powerplay, at the 11:32 mark of the second, assisted again by Marcus Johansson and Nicklas Backstrom. Oshie would strike yet again at 13:35 of the third period, with the assists going to Alexander Ovechkin and Evgeny Kuznetsov.
Other highlights from the match-up included a monstrous hip-check on Avalanche forward Matt Duchene by Caps defenseman Orlov.
Although he did not get the start tonight, Capitals goaltender Braden Holtby was honored pregame in recognition of his tremendous Vezina Trophy winning season last year. The ceremony consisted of a video including many of Holtby’s highlights from the 2015-2016 campaign as well as kind words from his teammates and family. In attendance was Braden’s wife as well as their two children. Also in attendance was the prestigious Vezina Trophy itself.
Last season was a spectacular one for the 27 year old net-minder. In his 66 games played, he won 48 and lost nine, tying National Hockey League and New Jersey Devils legend Martin Brodeur for most single season wins as a goaltender. He averaged a 2.20 goals against will maintaining a .922 save percentage with three shutouts. He led the Capitals to the Stanley Cup Playoffs, where they would be knocked out in the second round against the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Pittsburgh Penguins.
Inside the Numbers
Stats from Tuesday’s match-up include 40 shots on goal for the Capitals, while Colorado managed to only produce 18. Faceoff percentage was in favor of Washington (53%) over Colorado (47%). The Avalanche went 0/3 on the man advantage while tallying 27 penalties in minutes whereas Washington went 2/5 with 13 PIMs. Colorado had 26 hits, nine more than Washington’s 17, and as for blocked shots, the Avs had 13 compared to the Caps nine.
Both the Capitals and the Avalanche play again on Thursday, with the Caps traveling to Florida to battle the Florida Panthers and the Avalanche taking on the Tampa Bay Lightning at Amalie Arena in Tampa, Florida.