Capitals vs. Avalanche: Lines, Tale Of The Tape, Players To Watch
The Washington Capitals close out their three-game road swing against the high-flying Colorado Avalanche. Lines, tale of the tape, players to watch and everything to know before puck drop.
The Washington Capitals have seen their share of ups and downs out west, and the shorthanded club see their three-game western road swing end with what's sure to be a tough showdown against the surging Colorado Avalanche.
Here's everything to know ahead of puck drop.
Washington Capitals vs. Colorado Avalanche: Lines
Alex Ovechkin is back after missing Saturday’s game with a lower-body injury back on Saturday and was greatly missed in a 6-2 loss to the Vegas Golden Knights.
Washington is missing two more key forwards for Tuesday, as T.J. Oshie is out after returning from the road trip early to be with his wife, Lauren, for the birth of their fourth child. Nicklas Backstrom is out with a non-COVID illness.
Here are what the lines could look like:
Alex Ovechkin/Aliaksei Protas-Dylan Strome-Nicolas Aube-Kubel
Sonny Milano-Evgeny Kuznetsov-Tom Wilson
Anthony Mantha-Aliaksei-Conor Sheary
Marcus Johansson-Lars Eller-Garnet Hathaway
Erik Gustafsson-Trevor van Riemsdyk
Dmitry Orlov-Nick Jensen
Matt Irwin-Martin Fehervary
Darcy Kuemper will start against his former club, with Charlie Lindgren backing up. Both played on Saturday after Kuemper was pulled after four goals on 18 shots, while Lindgren allowed two goals on nine shots.
Washington Capitals vs. Colorado Avalanche: Tale Of The Tape
The Capitals (25-18-6) are coming off one of their worst performances of the season, where they went down 5-0 quickly at the hands of the Golden Knights following an easy win over the Arizona Coyotes two nights before. Oshie said they was "disinterested" and "not mentally sharp" from the get-go, and that set the stage for a rough 6-2 loss as they were dominated in several categories while Kuemper and Lindgren both had tough nights. The power play's struggles also continued and is now 1-for-17 over the last eight games. However, a strong practice on Monday helped Washington forget the defeat quickly, and the team will look to bounce back against Colorado as Kuemper and Aube-Kubel return to where they won it all just months back.
On the other side of the coin, the Avalanche (25-17-3) have been stellar of late and have won five straight games. The team has had to fare without the services of Cale Makar and will be without him again on Tuesday, but it hasn't been an issue for Colorado. The Avalanche have power-play goals in four of their last five games, and their goaltending has also been spectacular as Alexandar Georgiev and Pavel Francouz have held down the fort well as the team surrenders just 2.71 goals per game (eighth-least in the league).
Washington Capitals vs. Colorado Avalanche: Players To Watch
Looking at the Capitals, keep an eye on Dylan Strome, who is on a three-game point streak. Also, Marcus Johansson became the team's second-leading goal scorer on Saturday and has points in three of his last four games. Evgeny Kuznetsov also has points in three of four, and just hit the 40-assist mark while moving up the franchise's all-time assists list. Erik Gustafsson also hit the 20-assist mark back on Saturday.
For Colorado, look out for a red-hot Nathan MacKinnon, who has points in seven of his last eight and eight of his last 10 overall, with 17 points and seven multi-point performances in that span. Also watch for leading scorer Mikko Rantanen, who has 58 points in 45 games and seven points in his last five outings. Arturri Lehkonen has also been clutch with points in four of his last five, and J.T. Compher has points in three of his last four games.
How To Tune In
Local fans can catch the action live on NBC Sports Washington Plus and tune in at WJFK 106.7 The Fan and Caps Radio 24/7. Colorado fans can watch on Altitude TV and Altitude Sports Radio 92.5FM 950.
Puck drop is at 9 p.m. ET at Ball Arena.