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Capitals Game Day

Capitals vs. Avalanche: Tale Of The Tape, Lines, Who To Watch



Could the Capitals pursue Darcy Kuemper?

ARLINGTON, V.A. — After a rocky road trip, the Washington Capitals are back at home and in for another tough matchup against the defending Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche.

Here’s how things look going into Saturday’s tilt:

Washington Capitals Lines

Here are what the Capitals lines looked like at morning skate:

Alex Ovechkin-Dylan Strome-Conor Sheary

Aliaksei Protas-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Sonny Milano

Nicolas Aube-Kubel-Lars Eller-Anthony Mantha

Marcus Johansson-Nic Dowd-Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson-John Carlson

Martin Fehervary-Nick Jensen

Matt Irwin-Trevor van Riemsdyk

Darcy Kuemper will get the start against his former club. He and Nicolas Aube-Kubel will also get their Stanley Cup rings. Connor McMichael, Joe Snively and Alex Alexeyev are the extras.

Washington Capitals vs. Colorado Avalanche: Tale Of The Tape

Washington (7-9-3) came into its road trip on a high note, dominating the Tampa Bay Lightning at home with a 5-1 win before travelling down to Tampa for a rematch on Sunday to open a three-game road swing. Upon landing in Florida, things went downhill.

The Capitals have dropped their last three games amid disappointing first-period performances and a lack of success on the power play, which is just 1-for-23 over the last five games. However, there was a bright spot against the St. Louis Blues, where, despite the shootout loss, Washington battled back from a 3-0 deficit and tilted the ice in the final two periods after a rough go-of-it in the first.

Washington is currently second-to-last in the Metropolitan Division and three points out of a Wild Card spot in the East.

Colorado (9-5-1) is doing well and has won five of its last six games. Nathan MacKinnon and the defending champions are third in the Central Division. The Avalanche are also experiencing polar opposites on both sides of special teams; their 36.7 power-play percentage is the best in the league by a long shot. However, the penalty kill is the seventh-worst in the NHL at 74.1 percent.

Washington Capitals vs. Colorado Avalanche: Names To Watch

For the Capitals, look out for Alex Ovechkin, who is coming off a three-point outing against St. Louis and is 11 goals from 800. John Carlson, Conor Sheary and Anthony Mantha have points in three of their last four games, and Carlson is coming off back-to-back multi-point performances. Also, look for Aube-Kuebl to try and make a statement in his return from a three-game suspension as he faces his former club.

On the Colorado side, Mikko Rantanen leads the club in scoring and has points in six of his last seven games, with 16 points over that span. Nathan MacKinnon has 24 points this season and has found the scoresheet in all but three games so far, and he has points in six of his last seven as well. Cale Makar also has points in six of his last seven and 11 points total over that span.

Washington Capitals vs. Colorado Avalanche: Quick Hits

  • Nicklas Backstrom, T.J. Oshie and Dmitry Orlov all skated on Saturday. None are in the lineup, but it’s a good sign going forward. Washington provided injury updates on them and Tom Wilson, saying that they’re coming along and making progress.
  • Gabriel Landeskog is out after knee surgery.
  • Lars Eller is one assist away from 200 in his career.

Washington Capitals vs. Colorado Avalanche: How To Watch

For DMV residents and those watching locally, the game will be on NBC Sports Washington. Avalanche fans out west can watch on Altitude Sports.