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Capitals miss T.J. Oshie, lose second game to Blue Jackets

Capitals miss T.J. Oshie, lose second game to Blue Jackets

The Capitals hoped to get revenge for a loss in Columbus five days ago, but fell to the Blue Jackets at home 3-2. 

How it happened: The Capitals played without T.J. Oshie, arguably their MVP through the first 17 games of the season, and his absense hurt.

Things started well. Nicklas Backstrom put the Capitals up with an unassisted goal three minutes into the first period. Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno pulled his team even on the power play six minutes into the second period, but the Capitals quickly retook the lead with a man-advantage score of their own. Backstrom and Matt Niskanen set up Ovechkin in the waning moments of a power play halfway through the second.

That lead only lasted 14 seconds into the third, however, when Brandon Dubinsky put a move on Holtby to knot the score at two apiece. A late high-stick penalty on Backstrom gave the Jackets a man-advantage over the final 1:34 of regulation and Alexander Wennberg capitalized with the game winner. 

What it means: The Capitals will fall to 11-4-2 after the loss today. It's a bitter defeat when leading after two periods. 

Starting fast: Last season, Caps coach Barry Trotz was consistently disappointed by his teams' slow starts. That script has flipped this year. Washington struck first against Columbus, putting them on the board first in 15 of their 18 games this year. Conversely, they haven't allowed a first period goal in four games. The Capitals have led opposing teams 20-8 in first period scoring this season. They just couldn't hold on this time. 

Backstrom not letting up: Backstrom has caught fire for the Capitals in the last four games. For those keeping track, the Swedish centerman has eight points in that span, including four goals.

On Sunday he snuck the puck past Sergei Bobrovsky unassisted to give Washington an early advantage. Then minutes after the Jackets evened things in the second period, Backstrom set up Ovechkin for a one-timer to retake the lead. According to Capitals PR, Sunday marks Backstrom's fourth multi-point game of the season and the 180th of his career.

But it was Backstrom's high-sticking penalty proved disastrous at the end of regulation. 

Power play perks up: The Capitals had not scored a 5-on-4 goal since October 29th when Marcus Johansson struck on the man advantage in Vancouver. The team converted their lone power play opportunity Sunday. 

Oshie leaves hole on PK unit: Oshie (upper body) was not available Sunday, and his absence was most obvious on the penalty kill.

He and Jay Beagle made a productive tandem of forwards on the PK. The pair had scored two shorthanded goals in the last four games.

Without Oshie today, the Capitals surrended a goal to Foglino just seconds into Columbus's second-period man advantage. On the power play again with 1:34 left on the clock, the bad guys scored the winning goal. 

Look ahead: The Capitals host the Blues next Wedesday for their first meeting of the season. At 10-6-3, the Blues currently sit in second place in the Central Division. 

MORE CAPITALS: Red hot Backstrom puts Caps on the board early in 1st

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4 things to know for the Capitals’ matchup against undefeated Colorado

4 things to know for the Capitals’ matchup against undefeated Colorado

The Capitals (3-1-2) snapped a three-game losing streak on Saturday and will look to stay in the win column on Monday in a game against the Colorado Avalanche (4-0-0). You can catch all the action on NBC Sports Washington with Caps FaceOff Live kicking things off at 4 p.m. before Caps Pregame Live begins at 4:30 p.m. to bring you up to the 5 p.m. puck drop. Stick with NBC Sports Washington afterward for Caps Postgame Live, D.C. Sports Live and Caps Overtime Live.

Here are four things to know for Saturday’s game.

Colorado is undefeated

The Avalanche is one of two teams left in the NHL that has not suffered a loss of any kind. Of their four wins, only one of them was not in regulation and that also happened to be the only game Philipp Grubauer did not play in net.

All four wins also happen to be at home as Monday’s game will be Colorado’s first on the road this season.

Washington will face former Caps Andre Burakovsky and Philipp Grubauer

Things seem to be going well in Burakovsky’s first season with the Avalanche. The winger has two goals and two assists in four games and has scored the game-winner in each of the past two games.

Burakovsky was a restricted free agent in the offseason and his contract carried a large qualifying offer which the Caps could not afford. The team traded his rights to  Colorado for a second and a third-round draft pick as well as a prospect on an expiring contract.

In net, Grubauer enters his second season with Colorado and first as the undisputed starter of the team. He earned the job after last year’s playoff performance in which he won seven games, posted a .925 save percentage and brought the Avalanche to within one win of advancing to the conference final.

In three games this season, Grubauer is 3-0-0 with a .931 save percentage.

The best line in hockey?

Colorado boasts one of the top lines, if not the outright best line in hockey with Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. All three players have had their fair share of success against Washington in their careers.

Landeskog has scored 14 points in just 13 games against the Caps, MacKinnon has 13 points in 11 games and Rantanen has seven points in five games.

The Caps have historically been a difficult matchup for Colorado

Washington’s last three games were against the Dallas Stars (twice) and the Nashville Predators, two teams the Caps have not fared well against historically. The roles are reversed for Monday’s game as this time it's the Caps who have been the thorn in the side of their opponent.

Colorado has lost nine of its last 10 meetings with Washington with its last win coming back on Nov. 16, 2017. The last win before was four years prior in November 2013.

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How to watch Capitals vs. Avalanche: Time, TV channel, live stream

How to watch Capitals vs. Avalanche: Time, TV channel, live stream

The Washington Capitals bounced back from a disappointing loss to the Nashville Predators, where they gave up four leads in a 6-5 contest, with a commanding 4-1 win against the Dallas Stars on Saturday night to end a three-game losing skid. Now, they welcome the Colarado Avalanche to town Monday night. 

The Avalanche have gotten off to a perfect 4-0 start this season, a record which was preserved in a 3-2 overtime win against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night. Ex-Capitals left winger Andre Burakovsky netted the game-winner while goaltender Pavel Francouz stopped 34 of 36 shots. 

Washington's John Carlson notched a goal and an assist while Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his second goal of the year in the win against Dallas, while Ilya Samsonov impressed in his second career start in net. He's now stopped 49 of the first 51 shots faced in his young NHL career. The Caps will look for their key contributors to perform against the undefeated visitors.

Here's everything you need to know about Monday evening's game, with the opening face-off coming at 5:00 p.m. live on NBC Sports Washington.  

Capitals vs. Avalanche: How to watch

What: Washington Capitals vs. Colarado Avalanche, Game 7 of the 2019-20 NHL Regular Season

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington D.C. 

When: Monday, Oct. 14, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Capitals vs. Avalanche game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports channel finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals at Predators on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

RadioCaps 24/7 Radio

CAPITALS vs. AVALANCHE TV SCHEDULE

4:00 PM: Caps FaceOff Live

4:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live

5:00 PM: Avalanche @ Capitals Live

7:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live

8:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live

8:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live

Capitals vs. Avalanche Injury Report

Capitals: D Michal Kempny, hamstring injury, day-to-day

Avalanche: C J.T. Compher, lower body, day-to-day; D Ian Cole, hamstring, day-to-day

CAPITALS vs. Avalanche PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Michal Kempny, D, Washington Capitals: The defender could make his season debut as he recovers from a hamstring injury. He felt good after an optional practice on Sunday and said if he doesn't play Monday, he'll be back soon enough. His return will bring a boost to the defensive backline for the Caps. 

John Carlson, D, Washington Capitals (2 G, 8 A, 10 Pts): Carlson has been quite the provider from up top on offense, leading the NHL in assists along with points leader Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers. Nobody else has more than four assists on the Capitals. 

Andre Burakovsky, LW, Colarado Avalanche (2 G, 2 A, 4 Pts): Burakovsky not only scored the game-winner Saturday night against Arizona, but also nothed an assist and had four shots on goal. After spending his first five seasons in the nation's capital, the Avalanche traded second and third-round picks in the 2020 NHL Draft and forward Scott Kosmachuk for his services in June. 

CAPITALS vs. AVALANCHE SERIES HISTORY 

Number of meetings: 85

All-time series record: Caps lead 44-32-9

Last meeting: Caps won 4-3 (OT) (4/7/19)

Last 10: Caps lead 9-1

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