WASHINGTON — Nazem Kadri and Mikko Rantanen each had a goal and two assists to help the Colorado Avalanche beat the Washington Capitals 6-3 on Monday night.
Erik Johnson, Nikita Zadorov and Matt Nieto also scored as Colorado improved to 5-0-0. Nathan MacKinnon added an empty-net goal and had an assist for the Avalanche, who scored on their first three shots of the game.
Philipp Grubauer stopped 29 shots against his former team to pick up the win, and Andre Burakovsky picked up an assist in his return to Washington as a visiting player.
Colorado’s start is tied for the second-longest without a loss since the team moved to Colorado and tied for their fourth-longest in franchise history.
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 h is career. Rookie Ilya Samsonov came on and finished with 19 saves on 21 shots.
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.
Rantanen’s fourth of the season made it 4-0 at 9:25 of the opening period. Kadri had his second assist of the game on the play.
The Capitals got no closer than two goals afterward.
John Carlson had a goal to pull the Capitals within one disallowed for offside following a challenge by Colorado coach Jared Bednar.
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 off-season hip surgeries. … Holtby’s previous shortest outing came when he was pulled with 9:07 played, having allowing three goals on five shots during his rookie season, on Nov. 19, 2010.
Avalanche: At Pittsburgh on Wednesday night.
Capitals: Host Toronto on Wednesday night.
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Ian Quillen, The Associated Press