Capitals hold on to beat Avalanche for 6th straight win

Marcus Johansson and Evgeny Kuznetsov each had a goal and an assist, Jay Beagle and John Carlson also scored and the Washington Capitals kept rolling with a 5-3 win over the Colorado Avalanche on Wednesday night.

The Capitals have 110 points, five ahead of idle Columbus, and are on track to clinch the President’s Trophy for most points in the league for the second straight season. They’ve won six straight games.

Alex Ovechkin didn’t record a point and remained tied with Alexander Mogilny for second place in scoring among Russian-born players in the NHL. Both have 1,032 points, trailing Sergei Fedorov (1,179).

Kevin Shattenkirk had two assists and Philipp Grubauer stopped 32 shots in his first start in nine games for the Capitals. Lars Eller scored into an empty net.

Washington took a 4-1 lead for the second time in two nights, both wins. Goals by Beagle, Johansson and Kuznetsov gave the Capitals the three-goal advantage, but Colorado chipped away.

Matt Nieto scored late in the second period and Nathan MacKinnon’s 16th goal at 4:29 of the third made it 4-3. MacKinnon also had an assist, and Calvin Pickard made 30 saves for Colorado, which has lost seven straight.

Carlson’s ninth goal of the season early in the first started the scoring and rookie Mikko Rantanen tied it midway through the period with his 17th goal. That tied him with Matt Duchene for most on the Avalanche this season.

NOTES: Sven Andrighetto had two assists for Colorado. … The game was played with one referee after Ian Walsh was hit on the leg with a puck. … The Avalanche singed 2016 first-round pick Tyler Jost to an entry-level contract. Jost spent 2016-17 playing for the University of North Dakota, where he had 16 goals and 19 assists in 33 games. … The Avalanche are 3 for 55 on the power play in their last 22 games.


Oilers: At the Arizona Coyotes on Friday night.

Avalanche: Host the St. Louis Blues on Friday night.

All the results from Wednesday in the NHL:
Chicago Blackhawks 5-1 Pittsburgh Penguins
Los Angeles Kings 4-1 Calgary Flames
Washington Capitals 5-3 Colorado Avalanche
St. Louis Blues 3-1 Arizona Coyotes