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game recap

Philipp Grubauer, Capitals blank Avalanche

Goalie gets first NHL shutout; Alex Ovechkin scores

by Katie Brown / NHL.com Correspondent

WASHINGTON -- Philipp Grubauer made 18 saves for his first NHL shutout when the Washington Capitals defeated the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 at Verizon Center on Tuesday.

"It took me a long time, but the next game is soon enough so I'll put that behind me and move on," said Grubauer, a 24-year-old who played his 43rd NHL game starting in place of Braden Holtby. "The team did an amazing job again."

T.J. Oshie scored twice, and Alex Ovechkin had a goal for the Capitals (2-0-1).

Semyon Varlamov made 37 saves for Colorado (2-1-0).

"Our first period was really terrible," Avalanche forward Matt Duchene said. "Even after that we didn't have much of a pushback. We weren't as patient and as confident as we should be with the puck and we were basically chasing them all night."

Video: COL@WSH: Oshie, Backstrom set up give-and-go goal

Ovechkin made it 1-0 at 15:44 of the first period with a power-play goal. It was Ovechkin's first and the Capitals' first power-play goal of the season.

Oshie made it 2-0 with his power-play goal at 11:32 of the second period. On a give-and-go, Nicklas Backstrom fed Oshie from behind the net and Oshie scored top shelf on Varlamov from the slot. The goal was Oshie's first of the season.

Oshie gave the Capitals a 3-0 lead at 13:35 of the third period. Evgeny Kuznetsov poked the puck up to Ovechkin on the rush. He took a shot that was blocked by Varlamov, and Oshie scored on the rebound.

Video: COL@WSH: Oshie finishes rebound for second goal

"When you get one on the power play, you know exactly what we have to do," Ovechkin said. "We have so much skill [with] those five guys who play there, and we use it. You can't stop it, obviously. It's nice to be back on track and it's nice to see the guys play hard today."

Washington's power play was 2-for-5 after going 0-for-8 in the first two games.

 

Goal of the game

Ovechkin scored his first goal of the season in a familiar way: from his spot in the left circle on the power play. Orlov fed Ovechkin the puck from the point, and Ovechkin's quick release beat Varlamov on the short side. Varlamov just missed covering Ovechkin's shot on the post.

Video: COL@WSH: Orlov sets Ovechkin up for PPG on one-timer

 

Save of the game

Varlamov got a little help on a save by defenseman Francois Beauchemin in the first period. During a Washington power play, Kuznetsov got a shot off right in front of the crease, which was blocked by Varlamov. The puck went high, and while Varlamov was down, Beauchemin skated to the goal line and kicked the puck out of the crease. Varlamov patted Beauchemin and captain Gabriel Landeskog on the head after play stopped.

Video: COL@WSH: Beauchemin uses skates to help out Varlamov

 

Highlight of the game

Orlov got the Capitals bench going after he dealt one of his trademark hip checks to Duchene in the first period. Duchene did a somersault but landed on his back. Orlov somehow remained on his feet.

Video: COL@WSH: Olrov's hit sends Duchene airborne

 

They said it

"We chased the game all night. They came out hard and we weren't able to match their intensity and their compete right from the beginning. [Varlamov] played an awesome game. He gave us a chance to be in that game potentially, and unfortunately we couldn't get it for him." -- Avalanche forward Matt Duchene

 

"The power play wasn't bad. We talked about needing a little more execution, a little more finish. They were sharper, and they got rewarded. I thought they could've scored almost every power play we got tonight." -- Capitals coach Barry Trotz

 

"It was bound to happen eventually. We've played well together in the past and we were missing passes just a little bit and playing somewhat slow hockey. Tonight we were all three going and only had one goal as a line when we were out there together, but I think for the most part we had a good, solid game." -- Capitals forward T.J. Oshie on the chemistry of the first line

 

Need to know

Iginla is 11 penalty minutes from becoming the ninth player in NHL history to score 600 goals and have 1,000 penalty minutes. He had 17 penalty minutes Tuesday, including a fight with Tom Wilson. ... Brett Connolly made his debut with the Capitals. ... Cody McLeod made his season debut for the Avalanche.

 

What's next

Avalanche: At the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET; ALT, SUN, NHL.TV)

Capitals: At the Florida Panthers on Thursday (7 p.m. ET; FS-F, CSN-DC, NHL.TV)

 

Video: Oshie, Grubauer lift Capitals over Avalanche, 3-0

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