Capitals can’t withstand the Avalanche, fall 5-1

  • Michael Prosser

Alex Tanguay celebrates one of his two goals as the Avalanche beat the Capitals 5-1 (courtesy of Patrick Smith/Getty images)

It seemingly is starting to look like things are going from bad to worse for the Washington Capitals early in the season. After losing two of their first three games away from home, the Caps were hoping to get the ball rolling during their seven game home stand, but with two straight losses at the friendly confines of Verizon Center, something has to be done to get the home fires burning.

Five Avalanche players had 2 points, including Alex Tanguay who was named the 2nd star of the game and former Capitals first round pick Semyon Varlamov was a brick wall stopping 40 of the 41 shots he faced, continuing his white hot beginning of the season as the undefeated Colorado Avalanche defeated the Washington Capitals 5-1.

Tanguay got the scoring started  in the first period, taking a pass from Captain Gabriel Landeskog on the rush and beat Michal Neuvirth  for a 1-0 lead. Just before the half way point of the period Matt Duchene took a stretch pass from Ryan O’Reilly just as a power  play ended, flew past the Capitals defense and roofed a snap shot right over Neuvy’s shoulder for a two goal lead.

It was in the 2nd period where yet again history was made. Nathan MacKinnon, the Number One overall pick in this past July’s Draft scored his first career NHL goal, taking a pass from Paul Stasney and beat Neuvirth parked in front of the net on the power play.

Early in the third, Tanguay scored what looked to be the nail in the coffin with a shorthanded, yes shorthanded, wrister that somehow sneaked it’s way through Neuvirth’s pads. The Caps finally got on the board when Eric Fehr scored his first of the season taking a Jason Chimera feed to the front of the net and poked it past his former teammate Varlamov to seemingly bring some sort of hope back into the team. But just 21 seconds later Jamie McGinn scored his third of the season icing the game for the visitors.

Washington falls to 1-4 on the season while the Avalanche continue to roll winning five straight, which is surprising since this team finished last a season ago. The homestand continues for the Caps as they welcome the Edmonton Oilers to town on Monday. The Oilers lost a heart breaker in overtime to the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday. The Avalanche travel back home to play Tyler Seguin and the Dallas Stars on Tuesday. These two teams meet again in November at the Pepsi Center.

OTHER GAME NOTES:

. John Erskine missed the game with an upper body injury. No word on the severity of the injury or how long he’ll miss

. Nate Schmidt, the former University of Minnesota Golden Gopher made his NHL debut after being called up from the AHL’s Hershey Bears. Schmidt didn’t register a point and was a -1 with 3 shots.

. Karl Alzner is the only starter who doesn’t have a plus/minus rating in the negative and paces the team with a +/- of 0. Eric Fehr, the goal scorer is last on the team in +/- with a -6. Brooks Laich and John Erskine both are behind him with -5’s.

. Edmonton comes into Verizon Center also losers of four of their first five games. Taylor Hall and rookie Marc Arcobello are tied for the team in points with 5. Ryan Smyth shares the team lead in goals with former Capitals and Bears center Boyd Gordon

 

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Michael Prosser

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