Washington Capitals defenseman Nate Schmidt, right, takes control of the puck at center ice as Colorado Avalanche center Ryan O'Reilly covers in the first period of an NHL hockey game in Denver on Sunday, Nov. 10. (Photo: AP)
DENVER (AP) - Semyon Varlamov stopped 33 shots and Nick Holden scored his first NHL goal to break a second-period tie, lifting the soaring Colorado Avalanche to a 4-1 win over the Washington Capitals on Sunday night.
Patrick Bordeleau, P.A. Parenteau and Gabriel Landeskog also added goals for the Avalanche, who are off to a franchise-best 14-2 start under new coach Patrick Roy.
Before this season, the best mark through 16 games was 13-3 by the 1994-95 Quebec Nordiques.
Joel Ward had the lone goal for the Capitals as they lost for a second straight night. Alex Ovechkin thought he had a goal late in the third, but it was disallowed when replay showed he kicked it in with his left skate.
Varlamov once again came up big against his former team, especially on a 5-on-3 early in the final period to preserve the lead. Varlamov also made 40 saves in a 5-1 win at Washington on Oct. 12.