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NHL Game Summary - Colorado at Washington



(Saturday, October 12th)

Final Score: Colorado 5, Washington 1

Washington, DC (SportsNetwork.com) - Alex Tanguay scored twice to back a 40- save effort from Semyon Varlamov, and the resurgent Colorado Avalanche rolled to a 5-1 victory over the Washington Capitals to match their best start in almost two decades.

Rookie sensation Nathan MacKinnon netted his first career NHL goal while assisting on another in Colorado's fifth consecutive win under new head coach Patrick Roy. The Avalanche last began a campaign 5-0-0 during the lockout- shortened 1995 campaign, their final season in Quebec before the Nordiques moved to Denver.

Matt Duchene and Jamie McGinn also lit the lamp for Colorado, with Gabriel Landeskog, Paul Stastny and Andre Benoit each recording a pair of assists in the rout.

Eric Fehr potted the lone goal for the slumping Capitals, now 1-4-0 on the season following their third consecutive defeat. Michal Neuvirth stopped 23- of-28 shots in a losing cause.

"It starts on our end. We've got to be stronger; we've got make sure pucks get out," said Fehr. "I think we need to want the puck a little bit more. We have to win puck battles, whether it's in our end or their end. We need to play physical, and we need to want the puck."

Varlamov, a former Capital who was facing his ex-team for the first time since being traded to Colorado by Washington in July of 2011, continued an outstanding stretch by Avalanche goalies with his latest performance. Colorado has surrendered only four goals during its season-opening tear, with Varlamov going 4-0-0 with a 0.80 goals against average over that span.

"He's playing outstanding," said Roy. "What I like about Varly is he's under control. He's always square to the shooters, he gets out of the net, he's playing with a lot of confidence and he deserves it. The success that he has he has done it on his own."

Colorado quickly set the tone, with Landeskog collecting the puck in the neutral zone and skating up ice before finding Tanguay open in the left circle. The veteran wing fired a shot through Neuvirth's pads to put the Avalanche in front 6:42 in.

Duchene made it a 2-0 game later in the opening period by racing down the right side and sending the puck over Neuvirth's left shoulder just after a Colorado power play expired.

"I thought we were very focused before the game," said Roy. "We jumped at them right from the start. I think we had a really good start. I think the damage was made after going up 2-0."

The Capitals put together a stronger second period, outshooting the Avalanche by a 19-7 margin for the frame. A sharp Varlamov was able to turn aside every chance, however, and Colorado took advantage of a too many men on ice penalty to extend the margin further.

An on-point behind-the-net centering pass from Stastny found its way to MacKinnon in the right slot, with the 2013 No. 1 overall pick blasting home a one-timer to put the Avalanche up 3-0 with 2:19 to go in the middle session.

Washington began the third period on a power play, but ended up falling behind further when Neuvirth failed to cover up the right side of the net and Tanguay found an opening with a low snap shot in a shorthanded situation at the 1:19 mark.

That set up a wild sequence of three goals within a span of 65 seconds. Fehr crashed the net to tip in a centering feed from Jason Chimera to get Washington on the board, but the Avs answered a mere 21 seconds later. A Capitals turnover led to a 3-on-2 rush that resulted in McGinn beating Neuvirth with a high wrister that increased Colorado's advantage to 5-1.

Game Notes

Washington defenseman Nate Schmidt made his NHL debut in place of John Erskine, out with an upper-body injury ... Avs blueliner Ryan Wilson returned to action after missing the team's first four games with a preseason knee injury ... Stastny's assist on MacKinnon's goal was his 400th career NHL point ... Varlamov and Neuvirth were each selected by the Capitals in the first two rounds of the 2006 draft, with Varlamov the 23rd overall pick and Neuvirth taken 11 spots afterward ... Tanguay's goals were his first with the Avalanche since Game 3 of the 2006 Western Conference Quarterfinals against Dallas. The 33-year-old spent his first six NHL seasons with Colorado from 1999-2006 and was traded back to Avs by Calgary in June.

10/12 23:17:10 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
4th
BRK 74
CHA 106
 
2nd
DUKE 76
WAKE 37
 
Final
LOS 4
CWS 6
 
Final
CLE 4
CIN 2
 
Final
TEX 2
KAN 13
 
Final
SFG 2
OAK 9
 
Final
SEA 4
SDP 3
 
Final
MIL 8
WMIL 0
 
Final
COL 3
ARI 6
 
Final
MIN 3
UMIN 1
 
Final
IND 105
NYK 82
 
Final
ORL 100
PHO 105
 
4th
BRK 74
CHA 106
 
4th
TOR 97
CLE 101
 
4th
BOS 81
UTA 73
 
3rd
MIN 59
DEN 74
 
3rd
NOP 56
DET 55
 
3rd
MIA 63
LAL 57
 
3rd
HOU 77
MEM 79
 
3rd
OKC 62
PHI 75
 
Half
SAN 54
SAC 38
 
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
MIL
10:30pm Tonight
LAC
POR
Final
UNCA 80
LIB 70
 
Final
PSU 67
OSU 77
 
Final
USB 62
BING 57
 
Final
FORD 66
DUQ 81
 
Final
GMAS 51
GWU 67
 
Final
UNH 54
HART 52
 
Final
STJOE 55
LAS 50
 
Final
Terriers 79
LIU 70
 
Final
GTDNS 83
MAINE 66
 
Final
LOU 59
ND 71
 
Final
SHU 66
PROV 79
 
Final
BRY 91
SHU 85
 
Final
MORE 79
SEMIZ 74
 
Final
MNTER 58
RFLSH 73
 
Final
LSU 63
TENN 78
 
Final
SFLA 74
UCF 45
 
Final
VERM 66
UMBC 39
 
Final
RMU 91
WAGN 68
 
Final
UMASS 53
RICH 56
 
2nd
TULA 50
HOU 48
 
2nd
YALE 63
HOW 49
 
2nd
PITT 51
MIAMI 54
 
2nd
TXPA 41
NMST 48
 
2nd
MSU 42
PURD 34
 
2nd
STLU 41
BONA 53
 
2nd
DUKE 76
WAKE 37
 
1st
TULSA 11
CIN 19
 
1st
VANDY 26
MSST 32
 
1st
OKST 25
TCU 25
 
1st
UCLA 36
USC 21
 
1st
WYO 32
UTST 26
 
1st
MARQ 14
STJ 12
 
1st
EILL 8
SIUE 2
 
10:00pm Tonight
FRES
AFA
10:00pm Tonight
SJST
BSU
10:00pm Tonight
NEV
COLST
10:00pm Tonight
ILL
NEB
11:00pm Tonight
ORST
OREG
11:00pm Tonight
UNLV
SDST
11:59pm Tonight
HAW
UCSB
 
2nd Intermission
WIN 0
OTT 3
 
2nd Intermission
DET 1
NYR 1
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
MON
10:00pm Tonight
COL
PIT