Avalanche 4, Capitals 1

Michael Kelly, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

DENVER -- Goaltender Semyon Varlamov stopped 33 shots, defenseman Nick Holden scored his first NHL goal and the Colorado Avalanche beat the Washington Capitals 4-1 on Sunday night.
Left wing Gabriel Landeskog had a goal and an assist and right wing P.A. Parenteau and left-winger Patrick Bordeleau also had goals for the Avalanche (14-2), who have won two straight.
Right wing Joel Ward had a goal and goaltender Braden Holtby made 33 saves for the Capitals, who lost for the second time in as many nights.
Washington blew a two-goal lead in the third period Saturday to lose in a shootout at Phoenix.
On Sunday, Varlamov made Colorado's lead in the third stand up. The former Capitals netminder made 14 saves in the period and came up big when Washington had 56 seconds of a 5-on-3. He stopped five shots to keep the Capitals from cashing in and got a big ovation when the second penalty expired.
A little more than a minute after the penalty kill, Parenteau beat Holtby to give Colorado a 3-1 lead.
The Capitals (9-8-1) had a goal disallowed when left wing Alex Ovechkin kicked in the puck with 2:28 left. Colorado sealed in with Landeskog's sixth goal with 1:40 left.
The second period didn't have many goals but it was full of plenty of scoring chances. Both teams had 16 shots on goal in the frame, keeping the goaltenders on their toes.
Ward finally broke through when he scored off the faceoff with 4:12 left to tie it at 1-1.
The Capitals didn't have long to celebrate. On Colorado's next shift, Holden pinched in from the blueline and one-timed a pass from Landeskog to give the Avalanche a 2-1 lead just 28 seconds later.
The Capitals got a scare when Ovechkin went head first into the boards with 2:26 left in the second period. Ovechkin appeared to lose an edge and was falling as Colorado defenseman Jan Heda checked him in the corner.
Ovechkin lay face down on the ice for several minutes before skating to the bench on his own. He didn't miss a shift.
NOTES: Washington entered Sunday's game with the NHL's top power-play unit at 28.2 percent and the league's second-ranked penalty kill (88.2). Colorado is the third-best penalty-killing team at 87.5 percent. ... The teams observed a moment of silence and saluted war heroes in honor of Monday's Veteran's Day. ... Capitals LW Alex Ovechkin is first in the NHL with power-play points (13) and power-play goals (seven). ... Avalanche C Ryan O'Reilly entered Sunday with goals in three straight games. ... Washington C Marcus Johansson has points in three straight games entering Sunday. He's seventh in the NHL with 13 assists. ... Colorado had allowed an NHL-low 27 goals before the game against the Capitals.

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