Catholic Capitals Night: Washington Loses to Colorado in a Likely Fashion

A crowd's perspective of a hockey game.

Photo by Luke Widenkopf

By Luke Weidenkopf 

The nation’s capital hosted a natural disaster and found out that the speed and resilience of the Colorado Avalanche were able to completely stop the Washington Capitals.

The Avalanche rocked out to a quick lead, scoring two goals, one by third-line center Ross Colton and the other by top-pairing defenseman Devon Toews, in the first five minutes. The Caps were found flat on their feet, but Colorado let off the gas, allowing them to roar back by the end of the first period, tying the game at two a piece. Both of Washington’s goals were caused by key defensive breakdowns from Colorado defensemen, in particular the second goal where former Anaheim Ducks defenseman Josh Manson did a 180-spin and shot the puck right to Capitals forward Conor McMichael’s skate which then took a Washington bounce and found its way into the back of the net.

The game then transitioned to a dump-and-chase game, with neither side gaining much ground. The Capitals had some good advances but were stopped by the steady hand of Avalanche goaltender Alexandar Georgiev. Then Colorado punched through Washington’s defense with a garbage goal by Atturi Lehkonehne, which silenced the home crowd.

Then a bench minor was assessed to the Capitals, which allowed Colorado to get their star-studded cast of forwards onto the ice, where Mikko Rantanen could laser a shot to the top right corner and put the game back at a 2-goal lead for Colorado.

Things would remain in the Avalanche’s corner as they did not let up for the rest of the game. Capitals captain, Alexander Ovechkin, got the game within one score with a late third period slapshot from his “office,” which is right above the right face-off dot. Ovechkin extended his goal-scoring streak to 6 games, as he continued his chase to surpass Wayne Gretzky for the NHL all-time goal record.

It would not be enough to stem the tide, as the  Avalanche were able to score two more empty nets and put the game away. With this win, Colorado was able to snap their four-game losing streak and continue their push for the playoffs. The Capitals are in a much worse situation, as they have dropped 4 of their last five and are three games back from a playoff spot.

The Capitals will be interesting to look at in the coming weeks if they cannot go on a major winning streak; then they will be forced to sell at the deadline, which could seal the deal on Washington’s long and successful run. It would be the end of the Ovechkin era, and the start of a possible rebuilding process for the storied franchise. 

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