The Colorado Avalanche took on the red hot Washington Capitals on Monday night to kick off a five-game road trip. The Avalanche entered the game with a three game win streak while Washington won five out of their last six. Well, let's get it going!
Through the first few minutes of the game, the Avalanche did a good job of keeping everything under control on the road.
GOAL: With 12:26 remaining in the period, Jay Beagle backhanded a rebound into the net off a shot from the point by Jason Chimera. Tom Wilson also assisted to give the Capitals a 1-0 lead.
At 14:49 in the first, Gabriel Landeskog got called for tripping but the Avs killed off their 16th straight penalty to keep it a one goal game.
Towards the end of the period, Landeskog coughed a puck in the Avs zone towards the slot that Ovechieken slapped towards Varlamov. Varly came out and saved the shot but it was almost a bad turnover for a score though.
Colorado trailed the Capitals 1-0 after the first period. The Avalanche were outshot 12-7 and the Capitals seemed to control most of the play. But, the Avs did have a good penalty kill and played pretty smart defensively. Overall, it wasn't a horrible period to begin the road trip.
About five minutes into the period, Cody McLeod began a scrum after Tyson Barrie goes offsides. McLeod and Wilson both ended up going to the box for unsportmanslike conduct which made it four on four for two minutes.
Nothing happens on the four on four but right after it expires, the Avalanche get called for a trip as Nate Guenin sent to the box.
With 13 seconds remaining in Guenin's minor, Joel Ward got called for tripping on Landeskog and the Avs get their first power play opportunity. Seventeen straight kills for the Avs as well.
GOAL: Who else but Tanguay and Iginla. Iginla makes a nice pass to Tanguay in front of the net and after one shot that was saved by Holtby, Tanguay knocked the second chance home. Barrie also got an assist for the Avs.
Towards the end of the period, Wilson took a couple jabs with the stick and I believe Varlamov gave him a smack back. Varly with a little edge against his old team. After the commercial break, its found out that Varly got a penalty for his shot after the whistle.
GOAL: Ovechkin scores on the power play as the Avalanche over committed to one side of the defensive zone and Ovi was open on the other side to wrist one home. Avalanche penalty killing streak ended at 17 as the Caps took a 2-1 lead.
The second period ended with the Capitals holding a 2-1 lead over the Avalanche. Colorado's offense was not doing much during the 5 on 5 play. Got the goal on the power play which was good but other than that, not much was doing from the top players on the Avs.
Patrick Roy mixed up the lines to try and get the offense going in the third. Put Briere on the line with Duchene and Landeskog and put Rendulic on the fourth line.
Tyson Barrie drew a holding penalty just 3:50 into the period which gave the Avalanche a power play. The Avalanche got six shots on the power play which was great but they were all pretty clean looks for Holtby.
Varlamov made a magnificent save on a Niklas Backstrom backhander just over the halfway point of the third period. Kept it a one goal game, big save.
Varlamov again made a nice sliding save on a break away to keep the game 2-1 and then another nice glove save about a minute later. With 4:28 to go, the Avalanche still trailed by one.
Avalanche pulled the goalie with over two minutes remaining and made a couple nice blocks on shots to keep the game alive.
Tanguay slid a puck right across the goal mouth with 1:07 remaining in the game. Iginla had a chance to knock it home as well but he couldn't slide it in.
Carlson fired a puck into the net with 24 seconds remaining but it did not count because Ward was offsides on the shot attempt.
The Avalanche got a couple shots in the last seconds but could not tie the game up and fall 2-1 to the Capitals to start off the road trip.
The Avalanche played a pretty solid third period to try to make a push to come back but again their offense was shut down on the road. The Avalanche are going to need to get their offense going on the road if they want to make a push for the playoffs. They are producing just around two goals a game on the road which is not good enough. Again, there was a lot of shots on Varlamov tonight, something that we all might have to get used to now. Needless to say, the Avalanche need to pick up two points against Carolina tomorrow night.
Avalanche Three Stars
3) Iginla got an assist again to set up Tanguay for his goal.
2) Tanguay with a solid goal on the power play and then nearly tied the game in the final minute.
1) Varlamov with a solid showing again saving over 40 shots.
Avalanche take on Carolina tomorrow night at 7 p.m. ET.