Capitals can’t keep up with Avalanche, lose fourth straight 0-4

After a disappointing road trip that saw them collect only a single standings point, the Washington Capitals came home to CapitalOne Arena hoping to find inspiration in hosting Hockey Fights Cancer night. While their initial play was indeed inspired, they failed to follow through and fell to the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche. The Capitals would suffer their second shutout of the season despite outshooting Colorado 32-29.

DC’s hockey team began the game very well in creating chances and keeping Colorado’s vaunted attack at bay. Late in the period however they would take two penalties 34 seconds apart. This gave the NHL’s number one power play unit nearly ninety seconds with a two-man advantage. Amazingly enough, the Caps nearly escaped the period without having given up a goal. Unfortunately for them, Cale Makar had too much time and space and buried a one-time shot from the left circle at 19:39.

Nathan MacKinnon made the highlight play of the evening with his goal in the second period. Corralling the puck at the point, he walked around Nicholas Aube-Kubel, shrugged off Martin Fehervary then perfectly tucked his shot in the upper right corner of the net. From then on, while the Capitals continued to hold the shot advantage, their efforts were perpetually frustrated by both their own inability to sustain momentum as well Colorado’s superior transition game. Andrew Cogliano and Artturi Lekhonen would both score in the third period to put the game out of reach, the latter resulting from an errant clearing attempt by Alex Ovechkin.

Leading the Capitals’ offensive efforts were Garnet Hathaway and John Carlson putting out five and four shots respectively. Their overall effort level was considerably higher than their recent efforts, but unfortunately, they made goalie Alexander Georgiev’s job far too easy as the majority of their shots would end up in his glove or chest.

NOTES–This was Washington’s Hockey Fights Cancer game; the pregame ceremonies featured six young Capitals fans whose names were announced alongside the team’s starting lineup. Washington has the next three days off as they do not play again until Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers at CapitalOne Arena. The Flyers have lost six straight and will have their next game Monday against Calgary at home. Start time for Wednesday night’s game is scheduled for 7:30 PM ET.

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