WASHINGTON — Alex Tanguay scored twice and Semyon Varlamov made 40 saves in his return to Washington as the Colorado Avalanche remained perfect under coach Patrick Roy with a 5-1 win over the Capitals on Saturday night.
It is the first time the franchise is 5-0 since the 1994-95 season when the team was the Quebec Nordiques.
Rookie Nathan MacKinnon added his first NHL goal and an assist, and Matt Duchene and Jamie McGinn also scored for Colorado. Peter Stastny earned two assists, including his 400th NHL point.
Varlamov, traded by the Capitals to the Avalanche in 2011, carried a shutout into the third period before Eric Fehr beat him at 2:03. Varlamov is 4-0 with a 1.00 goals against average.
Michael Neuvirth made 23 saves for the Capitals (1-4) in his first start this season. Washington has lost three straight.
Trailing 2-0 after one period, the Capitals put 19 shots on Varlamov in the second without scoring.
Midway through the period, Fehr shot wide while Varlamov was out of position. Minutes later, Varlamov denied Tom Wilson in front.
Colorado stretched its lead to 3-0 with 2:19 left in the second after the Capitals were caught with too many men on the ice.
Stastny fed the 18-year-old MacKinnon in front, and McKinnon — the top pick in this year’s NHL draft — beat Neuvirth. He celebrated by skating to the corner and jumping into the glass.
Tanguay made it 4-0 with a short-handed goal at 1:19 of the third.
Fehr spoiled Varlamov’s shutout bid off a pass from behind the goal line by Jason Chimera.
Tanguay opened the scoring at 6:42 of the first when his shot from the left circle deflected off a Washington stick and past Neuvirth.
Later in the period, just after an Avalanche power play ended, Colorado made it 2-0.
Duchene skated in on the right side, worked around defenseman John Carlson and lifted the puck over Neuvirth’s shoulder for his third goal.
Washington went 0 for 2 on the power play. Colorado hasn’t allowed a power-play goal in 12 short-handed situations this season.
NOTES: Avalanche LW Cody McLeod was assisted off the ice after he blocked Alex Ovechkin’s shot in the second period. ... Washington D John Erskine sat out with an upper body injury. LW Aaron Volpatti was also scratched. ... D Nick Holden, D Tyson Barrie and C Marc-Andre Clichi were scratched by Colorado. ... Washington D Nate Schmidt, recalled from Hershey of the AHL on Friday, made his NHL debut. ... The Nordiques were 7-0 in the 1985-86 season, the best start in franchise history.