Depleted Capitals fall to Avalanche, slide to last playoff spot

The Capitals completed their road trip in Denver’s Ball arena to face the Colorado Avalanche. While they showed much more effort in this contest, they still fell short and lost once again. The loss places them in the last available wild card playoff position in the Eastern Conference. Alexandar Georgiev stopped 37 of 39 Washington shots to ensure the win for the home team. The Capitals began the game minus Nicklas Backstrom due to a non-COVID illness and TJ Oshie to be with his wife for the birth of their fourth child.

Arturri Lehkonen opened the game’s scoring at 8:57 after Nathan MacKinnon managed to push the puck to him on a modified two-on-one break. Colorado took a 2-0 lead two minutes into the second period on a goal by Andrew Cogliano. Washington finally got on the board when Conor Sheary took a pass from the point by Martin Fehervary and redirected it into the net at 4:48.The eventual winning goal was scored by Alex Newhook, who blew past both Dimitry Orlov and Nick Jensen and forced a wrister past Darcy Kuemper to make it 3-1 at 15:39.

In the third period, the Capitals mounted a furious attack firing 15 shots at Georgiev. Just before the period’s halfway mark, Alex Ovechkin planted his 31st of the season on a classic one-timer from the left faceoff circle. Unfortunately, whether through bad bounces or Georgiev’s superb efforts, the Capitals failed to pierce the net after Ovechkin’s goal.

NOTES—Tom Wilson took a slapshot to the leg in the second period and did not return to the game. No timetable has been established for his return as yet. Anthony Mantha drew into the lineup and got an assist on Sheary’s goal, his first point in eight games. The next game is back at CapitalOne Arena against the Pittsburgh Penguins with a scheduled start time of 7 PM ET.

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