September 30, 2020

Washington Capitals Game 42 Recap: Caps tough out solid win over Avalanche

OVECHKIN’S GAME-WINNER MOVES HIM PAST BONDRA FOR FIRST ON ALL-TIME TEAM LIST

Make it six straight wins at Verizon Center for the Washington Capitals. Braden Holtby had 18 of his 31 saves in the third period, and Alex Ovechkin scored his 22nd goal of the year as the Capitals beat the Colorado Avalanche 2-1 on Monday night.

Jay Beagle opened the scoring at 7:34 of the first period. After winning an offensive zone faceoff, Tom Wilson directed a shot toward the net from the point. Beagle found the rebound left by former Capital Semyon Varlamov on the backhand and put it home.

“We want our building to be a hard real place for teams to come into and play, and I think we’re starting to establish that now and we’re just playing to our system, and obviously Holts [Holtby] standing on his head does a lot for us, too,” Beagle said of his team’s home-ice performance as of late.

Holtby stopped 31 of 32 shot attempts, continuing his stretch of hot play that has been going on since roughly the start of November. After Alex Tanguay knotted things up soon after the halfway mark of the second, Troy Brouwer found Ovechkin with a backhand pass near the left circle. Ovechkin beat his fellow Russian glove-side for what ended up being the game-winner with 2:14 left in the middle frame.

“We feel good about our goalie, and he feels good,” coach Barry Trotz said of Holtby. “He’s been playing unbelievably, and we feel like we can win hockey games. Sometimes we just need to get one – when he makes a save or we make a big play in a big moment, and then the team feels like we can do it; we can win.”

Game notes:

  • Washington was 1-for-3 on the power play, a typically solid number for their fourth-ranked power play. At 24 percent, they are one of the league’s elite extra-man units and the chemistry between the two lines is a big reason why the Caps will probably be a playoff team.
  • Speaking of which, they’re now in third place in the Metropolitan Division by themselves. Not only that, but they are three points behind the first-place Penguins and one behind the second-place Islanders with 54 points.
  • Ovechkin’s goal was the 74th game-winning goal of his Capitals career, which is an new franchise record, lifts him over Peter Bondra’s previous record of 73. Also, this ties him for Mario Lemieux’s mark in that category as well.
  • Holtby’s numbers tonight are hardly a novelty, but it goes to show how important he has been to the Capitals’ resurgence this year, especially in their staggering run of points in 17 of their last 18 games.
About Eric Hobeck

Eric Hobeck is a Staff Writer for District Sports Page covering the Redskins and Capitals. Eric contributes to high school sports coverage at InsideNova.com. He served as sports editor of The Rotunda at Longwood University for two years, where he was also the men’s basketball beat writer. He hosted a campus radio show for three years and called basketball and baseball games for the station’s award-winning sports team. You can follow Eric on Twitter @eric_hobeck.

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