WASHINGTON, D.C. -- T. J. Oshie tallied two goals, Alex Ovechkin scored his first goal of the season and Philipp Grubauer registered his first career shutout as the Washington Capitals downed the Colorado Avalanche 3-0 on Tuesday night.
Ovechkin and Oshie scored power-play goals in the first and second periods, respectively, for the Capitals (2-0-1) as the defending Metropolitan Division champions never trailed. The duo combined for Washington’s third as Oshie knocked in a rebound past Semyon Varlamov after the Colorado goalie denied a streaking Ovechkin.
Washington swept Colorado last season and is halfway to a repeat thanks to a dominant performance on both ends. Marcus Johansson had two assists.
Grubauer had 18 saves in his first appearance of the young season in relief of goaltender Braden Holtby. The Capitals outshot the Avalanche 20-5 in the first period and 37-18 overall one night after Colorado (2-1-0) won at Pittsburgh, the defending Stanley Cup champions.
Varlamov, who began his NHL career with Washington, had 34 saves.
The Capitals controlled possession in the first period, but couldn’t convert against Varlamov until Ovechkin turned a busted play into Washington’s first power-play goal in 10 attempts this season. The NHL’s top goal scorer in each of the past four seasons, Ovechkin beat Varlamov to the near post with a one-timer from the left wing off a pass from Dmitry Orlov with 4:16 left in the period.
Oshie first goal of the season with 8:28 remaining in the second period came 12 seconds after Colorado’s Jarome Iginla was sent to the penalty box for instigating a fight with Washington’s Tom Wilson. Camped in front of the goal, Oshie rammed home the puck off a pass from Nicklas Backstrom from behind the net.
Nathan Mackinnon had four shots on goal for Colorado.
NOTES: Jared Bednar’s late summer whirlwind from coaching American Hockey League champion Lake Erie to taking the Colorado job left little time to focus on anything but the basics. That included the schedule. “After that (first) week of practice, we started looking ahead,” Bednar said. The Avalanche play five of their first seven games on the road, including the current four-game trip with matchups against Pittsburgh and Washington. “Obviously, this is a tough start for us, but it’s a good challenge for our team. It’s good for our team to get out on the road together.” ... Washington honored G Braden Holtby before the game as the reigning Vezina Trophy winner. ... C John Mitchell, RW Ben Smith and D Eric Gelinas were Colorado’s scratches. ... Washington scratches included D Taylor Chorney and C Zachary Sanford. ...Washington travels for Thursday’s matchup against the Florida Panthers. ...Colorado’s road trip continues Thursday against the Tampa Bay Lightning.