The Colorado Avalanche beat the Washington Capitals for their first road win. They remain undefeated so far this season.
The Colorado Avalanche won a barn-burner of a game in Washington. It’s never easy to beat a great team like the Capitals, especially when you’re in their barn.
Well, the Avs burned that barn down, and part of the ignition was a goal from (Long Beach Native) Matthew Nieto. It wasn’t the game-winning goal — that honor goes to Mikko Rantanen. However, as Altitude TV analyst Kyle Keefe remarked in his post-game commentary, that goal was a game-changer.
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To set the scene, a quick summary. The Avs went up 4-0 in the first 10 minutes of the game, chasing Capitals goalie Braden Holtby after the third. However, the Caps aren’t a team to roll over and die, and they came into the second with fire. They cut the lead in half with two unanswered goals.
Unanswered, that is, until just over four minutes into the third.
Ilya Samsonov (who will one day be an Avalanche since the Caps are our goalie development system) must have not seen how fast Jost was streaking to catch Makar’s pass. Because the rookie goalie casually passed the puck right onto Jost’s stick.
Well, Jost couldn’t score a goal from behind the net. However, he could thread the pass through the big goalie toward his own teammate, Matt Nieto:
As you can see, Nieto was actually prepared to receive the puck on his forehand. However, Samsanov somehow deflected the puck just enough to make it change direction. So, poor Nieto had to switch weight, adjust his stick, and wack the puck into the open net — all in a fraction of a second.
And, as Altitude TV analyst Mark Rycroft observed, he collapsed into a pike of rubble at the end.
Makar didn’t get an assist on the play, but all three of those players played an important role in scoring that goal. Makar set it up from his own defensive zone, Jost showed hustle to get to the puck, and Nieto finished the play.
That goal was #5 in a 6-3 win. Remember, the Capitals had just scored twice in the second, and the momentum definitely favored them. However, this goal took the steam out of the team for a while, and out of the building for the most part.
And, the Colorado Avalanche got the win. They’re now unbeaten in the young 2019-20 season. And it feels so good to see them racking up those points early on as a buffer.
As the captain, Gabriel Landeskog can attest, winning feels good:
Our cap is better than all the other caps, don’t @ me.
The Colorado Avalanche are probably boarding a plane for Pittsburgh right now. They face the Penguins on Friday.