Preview: Capitals Close Out Trip In Colorado

The Washington Capitals will clash with the defending Stanley Cup Champion Colorado Avalanche for the final time this season in the Mile High City on Tuesday night. Colorado shut out Washington, who won 12 of the previous 14 against them, by a score of 4-0 in the first on November 19 at Capital One Arena. Action from Ball Arena can be seen on NBC Sports Washington in-market or ESPN+ out-of-market starting at 9 PM ET.

SCHEDULE

Washington: finish three-game Western Conference road trip (1-1-0), end stretch where they play four straight against the West and continue one where they play six of last eight on the road before NHL All-Star Break

Colorado: start three-game homestand before bye week/All-Star Break after sweeping a three-game Northwestern road trip

RECORDS

Washington: 25-18-6/.571 points percentage – fourth in Metropolitan Division (fifth in points percentage), seventh in Eastern Conference (eighth); 12-10-3 on road, 14th in NHL (have won nine of last 11 away from home)

Colorado: 25-17-3/.589 points percentage – fourth in Central Division, eighth in Western Conference; 11-8-3 at home (19th)

HOW EACH TEAM IS DOING

Washington: lost four of their last six and five of their past eight in regulation since season-long nine-game point-streak (7-0-2) ended

Colorado: has won five in a row since going an NHL-worst 1-6-1 out of the holiday break to January 13, the last game of which was a 3-2 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks

TEAM LEADERS

Washington

Notes: Ovechkin, who missed Saturday’s loss in Las Vegas with a lower-body injury, has one goal, four points in last four games; Kuznetsov, 30, has four assists in his last four; Orlov, 31, has a goal, four points in his last four; C Dylan Strome has three goals, four points in his last four after going scoreless in five of his previous six; LW Conor Sheary has just one assist in last nine and gone scoreless over his last seven; C Lars Eller has gone scoreless in his last nine

Colorado

  • RW Mikko Rantanen (32 goals, 58 points)
  • C Nathan MacKinnon (38 assists)
  • D Cale Makar (27:09 TOI/game)

Notes: Rantanen, 26, has 29 goals, 49 points in his last 37; MacKinnon, 28, saw a seven-game point-streak (11 assists, 15 points) end in a 2-1 win at Seattle Kraken on Saturday but has eight multi-point efforts in his last 16 (16 assists, 24 points); Makar, 24, has seven goals, 19 points in last 17, including four goals, nine points over six-game point-streak; LW Artturi Lehkonen has five goals, seven points over his last five; LW J.T. Compher has one goal, five points in his last four; D Devon Toews has five assists in his last five but none over his last two and those are his only points in his last 10; C Evan Rodrigues has 11 assists, 15 points in his last 16, which included a nine-game point-streak (nine assists, 12 points); C Alex Newhook has three goals, five points in last five

KEY TEAM STATS

Goals-per-game:                 WSH – 3.18 (15th)           COL – 3.04 (T-21st)

Goals-against per game:   WSH – 2.8 (10th)             COL – 2.71 (8th)

Power Play:                          WSH – 20.5% (T-19th)   COL – 24.5% (8th)

Penalty Kill:                         WSH – 81.6% (7th)          COL – 76.6% (20th)

Shots-per-game:                 WSH – 31.6 (17th)            COL – 32.8 (T-8th)

Shots-against per game:   WSH – 30.1 (T-10th)       COL – 31.8 (20th)

Faceoff-winning %:            WSH – 49.8% (17th)       COL – 45.8% (29th)

5v5 Corsi-for %:                  WSH – 51.3% (14th)        COL – 52.56% (5th)

5v5 x Goals-For %:             WSH – 51.67% (14th)      COL – 50.96% (16th)

5v5 SCF %:                           WSH – 51.42% (15th)      COL – 53.52% (6th)

5v5 Shooting %:                  WSH – 8.46% (16th)       COL – 6.77% (31st)

5v5 Save %:                          WSH – .9187 (14th)         COL – .9347 (2nd)

5v5 PDO:                              WSH – 1.003 (T-11th)     COL – 1.002 (15th)

EXPECTED STARTING GOALTENDERS

Washington: Darcy Kuemper, 32 — 14-10-3 (T-15th in wins), .917 save percentage (T-9th), 2.55 goals-against average (T-11th), five shutouts (first) in 31 games this season; 4-2-2, .920 save percentage, 2.13 goals-against average, three shutouts in 10 career games vs. Colorado, including a 25-save performance (.862 save percentage) in 4-0 loss in November; first game in Denver after leading Colorado to the Stanley Cup last season, when he posted a 10-4 record, .902 save percentage, 2.57 goals-against average, one shutout in 16 postseason games

Colorado: Alexandar Georgiev, 26 — 18-11-3 (T-9th in wins), .917 save percentage (T-9th), 2.64 goals-against average (14th), two shutouts in 32 games; 3-5-1, .897 save percentage, 3.18 goals-against average, one shutout in nine career games vs. Washington, including 32-save whitewash two months ago

INJURIES/ILLNESSES

Washington

  • Carlson (upper-body, will miss 14th straight game, out indefinitely)
  • RW Connor Brown (ACL, 46th, indefinite)
  • LW Carl Hagelin (hip, 50th, indefinite)
  • C Nic Dowd (lower-body, fourth, indefinite)
  • RW T.J. Oshie (birth of child, first, day-to-day)

Colorado

  • Makar (hip, third, day-to-day)
  • C Denis Malgin (upper-body, ninth, week-to-week)
  • D Bowen Byram (lower-body, 36th, week-to-week)
  • D Josh Manson (lower-body, 25th, week-to-week)
  • RW Darren Helm (lower-body, sixth, indefinite)
  • LW Gabriel Landeskog (knee, 46th, week-to-week)

PROJECTED LINEUPS

Washington

Ovechkin — Strome — Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Sonny Milano — Nicklas Backstrom — Tom Wilson
Sheary — Eller — Anthony Mantha
Marcus Johansson — Kuznetsov — Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson — Trevor Van Riemsdyk
Orlov — Nick Jensen
Alexander Alexeyev — Martin Fehervary

Kuemper
Charlie Lindgren

Scratched: D Matt Irwin, C Aliaksei Protas

Colorado

Lehkonen — MacKinnon — Rodrigues
Valeri Nichushkin — Compher — Rantanen
Andrew Cogliano — Newhook — Logan O’Connor
Anton Blidh — Ben Meyers — Jacob MacDonald

Toews — Erik Johnson
Sam Girard — Brad Hunt
Kurtis MacDermid — Andreas Englund

Georgiev
Pavel Francouz

Scratched: N/A

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a diehard Caps fan and a hockey fanatic with a passion for sports writing. He attended his first game at age 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest Caps memory was watching the Capitals hoist the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time, he enjoys travel, photography, and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077
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8 Responses to Preview: Capitals Close Out Trip In Colorado

  1. novafyre says:

    THW have dropped our prospect pool from 18th to 23rd. In a separate article they list Eller as our best trade asset. They say “Eller could be a great mentor for a team with a lot of young up-and-coming players, especially at center.”

  2. Diane Doyle says:

    Glad to see that Ovi was back for practice but would have listed him among the injured but include the caveat that he might be back.

  3. hockeydruid says:

    WHY? It serves no purpose and deception at this level is silly! So they prepare for Ovie and he doesnt play no problem. And every team is going to prepare for Ovie to play no matter how you list him. Just a silly idea!

  4. dwgie26 says:

    Oshie out. OV in. Rotation continues.

    I’d put Sheary on first line with OV and Strome again. NAK and Mantha flank Eller on third. 2nd and 4th lines stay the same. Please keep Alexyev in the lineup.

    • Kiks says:

      I agree AA should play over Irwin from both long term and short term perspective.

      But Why we keep two least experienced D-man AT one pair, that is something I don’t get.

      If he AT least tried to pair them with one from Jensen-Orlov I think that would help both and the team as well.
      He still can put them back if he wants anytime but it will be worth trying in my opinion.

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