On paper, this is the sort of game a championship team should win.
The Colorado Avalanche have been looking strong, but they’re closing off a back-to-back set and were pushed to overtime. The Washington Capitals, meanwhile, come into this home game refreshed.
Sometimes things do work out more or less as planned. The Capitals mopped up this contest by a score of 3-0, giving the Avs their first loss of 2016-17.
It’s not just the win that should delight the Capitals, but also how they won.
For one thing, Philipp Grubauer enjoyed a relatively light workload in only needing 18 saves to post a shutout.
More than that, it was who was scoring the goals.
After being held off the scoreboard to start the season, the Capitals’ top line of Alex Ovechkin (one goal, one assist), T.J. Oshie (two tallies) and Evgeny Kuznetsov (one helper) really came through. Two of those three goals came on the power play, ticking off that box for anyone who gets concerned about things in small sample sizes.
If you close your eyes and imagine a typical Ovechkin goal, it probably looks just like the one he actually scored:
Washington hopes such familiar feelings will only become more common as the 2016-17 season goes along.