Preview: Capital’s clash with Colorado on Saturday

Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images

The Washington Capitals host defending Stanley Cup champions Colorado Avalanche in the first of two meetings between the teams this season on Saturday. Washington won two games against Colorado in the 2021-22 regular season, including a 3-2 win in Denver on April 18. Market from 7:00 p.m. ET.

SCHEDULE

Playing the middle game of a three-game road trip, Colorado continues a stretch where they play eight out of 10 on the road. They opened it up Thursday with a 3-2 overtime win over the Carolina Hurricanes.

Washington opens a three-game homestand after ending a 0-2-1 road trip with a 5-4 shootout against the St. Louis Blues on Thursday. The team will have three days between games after Saturday’s clash.

RECORDS

Colorado: 9-5-1/.633 percentage points (5-3-0 at home) – Third in the Central Division, fifth in the Western Conference

Washington: 7-9-3/.447 percentage points (5-3-1 at home) – Seventh in the Metropolitan Division, 10th in the Eastern Conference on points but 13th in percentage points

LIKE EVERY TEAM DOES

Colorado: has won five of its last six games (5-1-0) since losing four of six (2-3-1) just before a two-game set Nov. 4-5 in Finland against the Columbus Blue Jackets

Washington: 3-6-3 since second straight win this season on Oct. 22-24

GROUP LEADER

Colorado

  • RW Mikko Rantanen (11 goals, 25 points)
  • C. Nathan MacKinnon (20 assists)
  • D Cale Makar (26:48 average TOI/game)

Notes: Rantanen, 26, saw a six-game streak (eight goals, 16 points) end at Carolina; MacKinnon, 27, saw six assist-and-point streaks (13 assists, 14 points) end in Carolina and has earned a point in 12 of 15 games this season (24 overall); Makar, 24, saw an end to his six-point streak (three goals, 11 points) on Thursday and was ruled out of the top scorer list for only the fourth time (18 points); LW Artturi Lehkonen has a point in each of his last five (three goals), a goal in each of his last two and six points in his last seven; D Devon Toews have scored at least a point in six of their last seven (one goal, eight points)

Washington

  • LW Alex Ovechkin (nine goals, 17 points)
  • C. Evgeny Kuznetsov (12 assists)
  • D John Carlson (23:09 average TOI/game)

Notes: Kuznetsov, 30, has five assists and seven points in his last six games; Carlson has three goals and four points in his last two and five points in four games since returning from a six-game injury layoff; C Dylan Strome has a goal and three points in his last two; LW Conor Sheary has three goals in his last four; LW Anthony Mantha has a goal and four points over his last four

IMPORTANT TEAM STATISTICS

Goals per game: COL – 3.53 (T-6th) WSH – 2.89 (T-23rd)

Goals conceded per game: COL – 2.67 (T-5th) WSH – 3.21 (17th)

Power play: COL – 36.6% (1st) WSH – 19.4% (24th)

Penalties: COL – 74.1% (T-25) WSH – 79% (14th)

Shots per game: COL – 32.5 (10th) WSH – 29.8 (26th)

Counter shots per game: COL – 34.3 (27th) WSH – 31.5 (15th)

Faceoff Winner %: COL – 44.5% (31st) WSH – 46.1% (27th)

5v5 Corsi-for %: COL – 50.14% (14th) WSH – 51.02% (12th)

5v5 x Goals-For %: COL – 46.38% (26th) WSH – 48.2% (21st)

5v5 SCF%: COL – 49.54% (21st) WSH – 50.42% (16th)

5v5 Shooting %: COL – 6.84% (29th) WSH – 8.47% (18th)

5v5 Save %: COL – 0.9496 (1st) WSH – 0.9181 (13th)

5v5 PDO: COL – 1.018 (T-5th) WSH – 1.003 (13th)

EXPECTED STARTING GOALKEEPER

Colorado: Alexandar Georgiev, 25 – 7-2-1, 0.924 save percentage, 2.70 goals against average in 10 games; 2-5-1, .857 save percentage, 3.62 save percentage in eight career games against Washington as a member of the New York Rangers

Washington: Darcy Kuemper, 32 – 5-8-1, .911 percent save rate, 2.73 goals against average, one shutout in 14 games; 4-1-2, .928 save percentage, 1.90 goals against average, three shutouts in nine career regular-season games against Colorado; 37-12-4, .921 save percentage, 2.54 goals against average, five shutouts in 57 regular-season games and 10-4, .902 save percentage, 2.57 goals against average, one shutout in 16 postseason games to lead Colorado to the Stanley Cup last season

INJURIES/DISEASES

Colorado

  • C Shane Bowers (upper body, will miss fourth straight game, out every week)
  • D Bowen Byram (lower body, fifth, week to week)
  • C Darren Helm (Kidnapper, 17th, undetermined)
  • RW Gabriel Landeskog (knee, 17th, undetermined)
  • D Kurtis MacDermid (Lower Body, Thirds, Week to Week)
  • RW Valeri Nichushkin (Ankle, Ninth, Week to Week)
  • D Sam Girard (lower body, fifth, daily)

Washington

  • RW Connor Brown (lower body, 16th, undetermined)
  • D Dmitry Orlov (lower body, seventh, day by day)
  • LW Carl Hagelin (hip, 20th, undetermined)
  • RW Tom Wilson (ACL, 20th, undetermined)
  • C Nicklas Backstrom (hip, 20th, undetermined)
  • RW TJ Oshie (lower body, 11th, undetermined)
  • LW Beck Malenstyn (Finger, Ninth, Week to Week)

PROJECTS LINEUPS

Colorado

Lehkonen-MacKinnon-Mikko Rantanen
Alex Newhook – Evan Rodrigues – Martin Kaut
Andrew Cogliano – JT Compher – Logan O’Connor
Dryden Hunt – Jason Megna – Anton Bldh

Makar—toes
Jacob MacDonald—Josh Manson
Andreas Englund—Erik Johnson

Georgiev
Pavel Françouz

Scratched: N/A

Washington

Alex Ovechkin – Evgeny Kuznetsov – Aliaksei Protas
Sonny Milano-Dylan Strome-Conor Sheary
Marcus Johansson-Lars Eller-Anthony Mantha
Nicolas Aube-Kubel – Nic Dowd – Garnet Hathaway

Erik Gustafsson—John Carlson
Martin Fehervary—Nick Jensen
Matt IrwinTrevor Van Riemsdyk

Kümper
Charlie Lindgren

Scratched: LW Joe Snively, D Alexander Alexeyev, C Connor McMichael

game notes

By Harrison Brown

About Harrison Brown

Harrison is a die-hard Caps fan and hockey fanatic with a passion for sporting goods. He attended his first game at the age of 8 and has been a season ticket holder since the 2010-2011 season. His fondest memory from Caps was when the Capitals won the Stanley Cup in Las Vegas. In his spare time he enjoys travelling, taking photos and hanging out with his two dogs. Follow Harrison on Twitter @HarrisonB927077

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