Skip to main content


Ovechkin sets record in Capitals' win vs. Avalanche

by Adam Vingan /

WASHINGTON -- Alex Ovechkin has recently seized a few of the Washington Capitals' offensive records away from Peter Bondra, including points and power-play goals.

Ovechkin added another at Verizon Center on Monday against the Colorado Avalanche, scoring his 74th career game-winning goal in Washington's 2-1 victory.

"It's a good [accomplishment]," Ovechkin said. "Just have to keep going like we’re doing right now."

Jay Beagle also scored for the Capitals (23-11-8), who won their sixth straight home game. Their 13-1-4 record is the NHL's best since Dec. 4. Goaltender Braden Holtby, making his 19th consecutive start, made 31 saves.

"I think our whole team, we keep rolling, we keep trying to do the right things to improve and when you do that, you really gain trust in all your teammates," Holtby said. "You can tell our whole lineup trusts each other out there and that makes you feel calmer as an individual. It's not just me, it's everyone."

Alex Tanguay scored for Colorado (18-17-8). Goaltender Semyon Varlamov made 36 saves.

"Both goalies played really well tonight," Avalanche forward Matt Duchene said. "We generated some good chances. I thought we did some good things. Our second period [stunk], but our first and third were pretty good. We put it on them pretty hard [in the third period]. We had some good chances. It's disappointing we couldn't get the goal."

Seven seconds after Evgeny Kuznetsov barely missed on a shot from the slot that struck the goal post, Beagle scored his sixth goal at 7:34. After winning an offensive-zone faceoff, Beagle skated toward the net. Tom Wilson's shot hit Jason Chimera in front of the goal, but Beagle quickly backhanded the rebound past Varlamov to give Washington a 1-0 lead.

"They were really good," Capitals coach Barry Trotz said of the fourth line. "They might have been our best line at times tonight. They were outstanding. … Every night there's different lines that find a way to contribute."

The Capitals decidedly controlled the second period, outshooting Colorado 20-7, but the Avalanche tied the game at 10:58. On the power play after Joel Ward tripped Gabriel Landeskog, Jarome Iginla drove wide and powered past John Carlson, sliding a pass to Tanguay as he cut to the net. Holtby made the first save, but Tanguay collected his own rebound for his team-leading 13th goal of the season.

Ovechkin restored the Capitals' lead at 17:46 on the power play, beating Varlamov five-hole with his patented left-circle shot shortly after Washington wore down Colorado's penalty killers in a lengthy board battle. It was Ovechkin's 22nd of the season and sixth in his past seven games.

"I didn't think [Ovechkin] was particularly good for [Ovechkin] standards today," Trotz said. "Missing the net a little bit, fumbling pucks and all that, but who scores the winning goal? Alex Ovechkin. There's something about that, when you need that goal, they find ways to score. And he does. That's a tribute to what he's done here in Washington."

Dominated in the second period, the Avalanche commandeered control of the third period with an 18-6 shot advantage. Avalanche coach Patrick Roy pulled Varlamov with about two minutes remaining and Tanguay narrowly missed tying the game, pushing a backhand shot just wide of the goal with 1:07 left.

"We had to respond [to Washington's second period]," Roy said. "Obviously, we were not happy about the second period. We had to have a better turn and I thought our effort was there in the third. Obviously we couldn't find a way to score that big goal to tie the game, but we had a lot of good chances and their goalie made some good saves."

The victory was the Capitals' third in regulation this season when scoring two or fewer goals, something they did not accomplish in the past two seasons combined.

"There's a lot of these one-goal games that are happening now," Beagle said. "In the past, we've kind of struggling with those, closing it off. We're doing a lot better job at it, finding a way to get the job done and get the win. They came out hard, the whole third, they came out real hard. We did a great job making sure we got the win."

The Avalanche continue their five-game road trip against the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday. The Capitals, who have earned points in 17 of their past 18 games, complete a three-game homestand against the Philadelphia Flyers on Wednesday.

"I don't believe it's a hot streak," Trotz said. "A hot streak is when you're winning games when you're not supposed to. I think our consistency has been good. Our commitment and our detail have been good. We're not just a team having a good month."

View More