Evgeny Kuznetsov scored on a breakaway goal with 48 seconds remaining in overtime, giving the Washington Capitals a 4-3 victory over the visiting Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.
Colorado, which fell to 1-8 in games decided in overtime this season, lost the puck near its own goal line in the extra session. Washington’s Alex Ovechkin quickly pounced on it and pushed the puck forward to Kuznetsov, who beat goalie Semyon Varlamov — a former Capital — on a breakaway for the game-winning goal.
Kuznetsov finished with two goals and one assist. Ovechkin added two assists, Matt Niskanen had a goal and an assist, and Andre Burakovsky also scored for Washington.
The Capitals swept the two-game series with the Avalanche this season. Washington beat Colorado 3-2 overtime in Denver on Nov. 16, topping former teammate Philipp Grubauer in goal that night.
Grubauer also got a tribute from the Capitals and their fans Thursday, and he stood on the Colorado bench and applauded them back.
Washington now has won three of four in the past week since ending a seven-game losing streak. Goalie Pheonix Copley earned the victory with 34 saves while Varlamov stopped 38 shots in the loss.
The struggles continued for Colorado, which has dropped five straight (0-4-1).
Washington took a 1-0 lead 6:31 into the game when Burakovsky redirected a T.J. Oshie feed past Varlamov.
Nicklas Backstrom appeared to give the Capitals a two-goal lead later in the period, but the referees waved it off due to an early whistle.
Colorado then tied the game 35 seconds into the second period. Tyson Barrie fired a long shot that hit off the glass behind the goal, and Nathan MacKinnon pounced on the rebound and somehow stuck it past Copley on the short side.
The Capitals took the lead back 8:38 into the second period thanks to Ovechkin and Kuznetsov. Ovechkin fired a blast from the left circle that trickled through Varlamov’s legs on the power play, and Kuznetsov dived to push it across the line.
Kuznetsov then helped Washington take a 3-1 lead in the first minute of the third period, assisting on a Niskanen goal at the 34-second mark.
The Avalanche cut the deficit to one when Gabriel Landeskog made a diving steal in the Washington end and fed the puck to Mikko Rantanen, who fired a quick shot past Copley at 5:10.
Colorado’s Colin Wilson then tied the game with 2:07 left on a shot from a sharp angle near the left boards, and that forced overtime.
—Field Level Media