Sports

Ovechkin scores late in 3rd period, sends Capitals over Avalanche 3-2.

  • Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin, center, of Russia, works way with puck between Colorado Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla, back, and defenseman Erik Johnson in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

    Washington Capitals right wing Alex Ovechkin, center, of Russia, works way with puck between Colorado Avalanche right wing Jarome Iginla, back, and defenseman Erik Johnson in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, back, makes stop of shot off the stick of Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

    Washington Capitals goalie Braden Holtby, back, makes stop of shot off the stick of Colorado Avalanche center Nathan MacKinnon in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)  (The Associated Press)

  • Colorado Avalanche goalie Reto Berra, front, of the Czech Republic, tries to cover puck as Washington Capitals right wing Troy Brouwer, back left, is cleared from side of net by Avalanche defenseman Zach Redmond in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)

    Colorado Avalanche goalie Reto Berra, front, of the Czech Republic, tries to cover puck as Washington Capitals right wing Troy Brouwer, back left, is cleared from side of net by Avalanche defenseman Zach Redmond in the second period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Thursday, Nov. 20, 2014. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)  (The Associated Press)

Alex Ovechkin scored late in the third period, Braden Holtby stopped 27 shots and the Washington Capitals beat the Colorado Avalanche 3-2 on Thursday night.

Nicklas Backstrom had a goal and an assist, Jason Chimera also scored and Ovechkin added an assist for the Capitals. Washington won the last two games of its three-game trip.

Ovechkin broke a 2-all tie when he skated past defenseman Jan Hejda and put a shot on Reto Berra. The goaltender didn't cover up the loose puck and Ovechkin poked it just over the goal line with 5:56 left. It was his ninth of the season and first in four games.

The Avalanche played half the game short-handed after Alex Tanguay was hit in the face on a shot by Ovechkin. Tanguay immediately skated off the ice and went into the locker room. The Avalanche announced that Tanguay sustained a jaw injury.

Colorado, playing its first home game in two weeks, tied it on Tyson Barrie's second goal of the season at 6:44 of the third period. The defenseman pinched in from the blue line and tipped in a pass from Gabriel Landeskog for his second goal of the season.

Daniel Briere had a goal and Berra finished with 20 saves for Colorado.

Colorado pulled Berra for an extra skater with 1:28 left. They had several chances but couldn't get the equalizer past Holtby.

Backstrom gave Washington a 1-0 lead with his fifth goal 1:04 into the second period. The Capitals nearly scored again a minute later when a puck sat in the Avalanche crease but they couldn't get a stick on it.

Colorado responded with Briere's third of the season when he wristed Nathan MacKinnon's rebound by Holtby at 2:53.

MacKinnon had two assists.

The Capitals went ahead 2-1 when Chimera's shot from the top of the right circle beat Berra over his left shoulder at 12:10 of the second.

NOTES: Colorado G Semyon Varlamov is day-to-day with a groin injury. He missed three games in October with a similar injury. ... Ovechkin has played in 698 career games, all with the Capitals. He is eighth on the all-time list. ... Avalanche LW Jamie McGinn was scratched with a back injury. Rookie Dennis Everberg took his place in the lineup.