Ovechkin, Capitals set for meeting with Avalanche

The Washington Capitals shoot for a third straight road win when they pay a visit to the Colorado Avalanche tonight at the Pepsi Center.

Washington needed almost a full 60 minutes to dispose of Winnipeg in Thursday's 1-0 victory, as superstar Alex Ovechkin scored with 1:14 remaining in regulation to lead the way. Ovechkin has collected 65 points (31g, 34a) in 45 games against the Jets franchise.

Michal Neuvirth stopped 26 shots to record his first shutout of the season and fifth of his career for the Capitals, who have won three of four and four of their last six games. Washington's previous shutout decision at Winnipeg came on February 19, 1988 in a 6-0 drubbing.

"The guys played hard, blocked shots, and did the little things that it takes to win and that's why we won tonight," Capitals head coach Dale Hunter said.

The Capitals are 6-8-0 away from the Verizon Center this season and second in the Southeast Division -- one point ahead of Winnipeg. Florida currently sits atop the division standings.

Washington extended its streak of games with at least one goal scored to 30 games to start the 2011-12 season, the longest streak to begin a season since Washington went 31 games without being shut out to kick off 2009-10.

Colorado is back in the Rocky Mountains and will commence a four-game homestand versus the Capitals, Flyers, Blues and Lightning. It has won four in a row at the Pepsi Center, where it is 8-9-0 this season.

The Avalanche, however, have lost four of their last five games and suffered a 5-4 loss at San Jose on Thursday in the back end of a home-and-home series. They blew a 4-2 lead by giving up three goals during the third period, as Semyon Varlamov finished with 29 saves on 34 shots.

"They started to play a lot harder in the third period," Varlamov said. "They shot a lot and tried to find every bounce."

Paul Stastny scored twice and assisted on Daniel Winnik's tally, but Colorado fell to 0-8-1 in its last nine road games and remains last in the Northwest.

Washington and Colorado are meeting for the first and only time this season. The Avs won the only meeting last season by a 3-2 score on Dec. 11, as Stastny ended with a goal and two assists. Washington has won two straight in Denver.