Sport Kadri, Rantanen help Avs stay perfect, beat Capitals 6-3
Vrana scores in OT, Capitals beat Blues 3-2 in opener
Jakub Vrana scored at 2:51 of overtime to give the Washington Capitals a 3-2 victory over the Stanley Cup champion St. Louis Blues on Wednesday night in the opener for both teams. Vrana beat Jordan Binnington with a wrist shot to the upper corner for his first point in five career games against the Blues. Alex Ovechkin and Dmitry Orlov also scored, and Braden Holtby made 21 saves for the Capitals. Sammy Blais and AlexVrana beat Jordan Binnington with a wrist shot to the upper corner for his first point in five career games against the Blues.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Even after sweeping a four-game homestand to start the season, the Colorado Avalanche felt they could do a better job of starting games.
They proved themselves right Monday night against the Washington Capitals.
Nazem Kadri and Mikko Rantanen each had a goal and two assists, and Colorado scored four first-period goals to beat Washington 6-3 and improve to 5-0-0.
Capitals' Samsonov to make NHL debut vs. Islanders
Washington Capitals rookie netminder Ilya Samsonov is expected to make his NHL debut Friday night against the New York Islanders, the team announced. The Capitals selected Samsonov with 22nd overall pick in 2015. He's one of just seven goaltenders this decade to be chosen in the opening round of the draft. Samsonov allowed three goals on 28 shots over two preseason starts for the Capitals. In 2018-19, the 22-year-old appeared in 37 contests for the American Hockey League's Hershey Bears, posting a 20-14-2 record with a 2.70 goals-against average, an .898 save percentage, and three shutouts.
Erik Johnson, Nikita Zadorov and Matt Nieto also scored for the Avalanche, who scored on their first three shots on goal and four of the first five. Nathan MacKinnon added an empty-net goal and had an assist.
"That was one of the weirdest starts, or the craziest ones that I've seen in a long time," said Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer, who stopped 29 shots against his former team. "But obviously we talked about that. Because we didn't come out too hot in the last four games. So we wanted to make sure we come out really strong, especially on the road."
Andre Burakovsky picked up an assist in his first return to Washington as a visiting player, as Colorado took a first period lead for just the third time in their five wins.
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Washington Capitals star Evgeny Kuznetsov, who tested positive for cocaine at world championships, scores on first shot after three-game suspension.The center scored a goal on his first shot and his second shift Tuesday night against the Dallas Stars.
The Avalanche's season-opening win streak is tied for their second-longest since the team moved to Colorado, and matches their fourth-longest in franchise history.
"I don't think we've played our best yet," Grubauer said. "I think we dodged a couple bullets a little bit early and got the win, but overall we got the two points. Nobody is asking at the end how."
Alex Ovechkin, Lars Eller and T.J. Oshie scored for Washington and Evgeny Kuznetsov had two assists. Braden Holtby gave up the three early goals on three shots and was pulled after Kadri's goal 7:54 into the game for the earliest removal of his career. Rookie Ilya Samsonov came on and finished with 19 saves on 21 shots.
"It's a team, and we're a team," Capitals coach Todd Reirden said of Holtby's performance. "I'm sure there are some things that he would have liked to have done different. But there's some things that a lot of us would have liked to have done different. We're in this together."
Marleau and others missed camp but haven't missed a beat
Peter DeBoer should have known better. He heard the stories of how Patrick Marleau and longtime Sharks teammate Joe Thornton trained in the offseason well before he got to San Jose. Still, he was amazed at how the 40-year-old Marleau jumped back on to the ice after no training camp and scored twice in his first game. "I know what an athlete he is and how great of shape he keeps himself in," DeBoer said. "It still is an amazing feat." Marleau isHe heard the stories of how Patrick Marleau and longtime Sharks teammate Joe Thornton trained in the offseason well before he got to San Jose. Still, he was amazed at how the 40-year-old Marleau jumped back on to the ice after no training camp and scored twice in his first game.
Colorado got traffic in front of Holtby on its first two goals. Burakovsky jumped up off the ice to evade Johnson's opener, shot from just beyond the left face-off circle. On Zadorov's crafty spin and finish to make it 2-0, it was MacKinnon leaping across Holtby's field of vision.
Kadri made it 3-0 when the Avalanche caught the Caps pressing into the attacking zone, taking Joonas Donskoi's feed and rifling a shot from the left that beat Holtby to his glove side and ended his evening.
Avs' Rantanen leaves game with ugly-looking foot injury
Rantanen has 12 points in eight games for the Avalanche.But now they might have to deal with a blow to their lineup after Mikko Rantanen suffered a lower-body injury during Monday’s game against the St. Louis Blues.
Rantanen's fourth of the season made it 4-0 at 9:25 of the opening period on a power play. Kadri had his second assist of the game on the play.
"That was our best period of the year," Avalanche coach Jared Bednar said.
The Capitals got no closer than two goals afterward. Late in the third, John Carlson appeared to have closed their deficit to 5-4, but his one-timer was disallowed for offside following Bednar's challenge.
NOTES: Washington has lost its first three home games for the first time since dropping their first three of the 1983-84 season. The first two losses were in overtime. ... At the first media timeout of the first period, the Capitals played a video montage in tribute to Burakovsky, who spent his first five seasons in Washington and was part of its 2018 Stanley Cup triumph. From the bench, Burakovsky raised his arm in recognition of a sizable ovation from the crowd. ... Washington C Nic Dowd played his 200th career game. ... The Avalanche have scored at least three goals in each of their first five games, the first time they've accomplished that feat since arriving in Colorado. ... Avs D Ian Cole made his season debut after undergoing two offseason hip surgeries. ... Holtby's previous shortest outing came when he was pulled with 9:07 played, having allowed three goals on five shots, during his rookie season, on Nov. 19, 2010.
Avs get first taste of life without Rantanen against Golden Knights
It looks like Compher will get a shot on the first line.Still, being without a star player for several games is far from ideal, and the Avs aren’t exactly getting eased into that grind, as they face a tough opponent in the Golden Knights in Vegas on Friday.
Avalanche: At Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.
Capitals: Host Toronto on Wednesday night.
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Colorado Avalanche's Gabriel Landeskog's long-term injury could shake up Central Division picture .
Landeskog, 26, has played in all 11 games this season for the Avalanche.With Mikko Rantanen already out week-to-week, Avs captain Gabriel Landeskog is now out indefinitely with an unspecified lower-body injury, the team announced Tuesday.