It’s always said that your goaltender is going to have to steal you a few games through the season, and that’s exactly what Jonathan Bernier did for the Colorado Avalanche last night. The backup netminder stopped 39 of the 40 shots he faced, leading the Avs to a 2-1 victory over the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Tonight, it will be Semyon Varlamov’s turn to attempt to do the same against Alexander Ovechkin and the Washington Capitals. Both teams are playing the second game of a back-to-back so fatigue will be a factor on both benches.
The Avalanche are guaranteed at least a split on this eastern road trip, but it would be great to get past the Caps tonight and head home above .500
Though the team was pretty thoroughly outplayed last night in Pittsburgh, there were a few good signs to come out of the game. Though he didn’t make it onto the game sheet, Tyson Jost played his best game this season. The 19-year old rookie looked a lot more comfortable and he is going to have to keep that up, especially if Alexander Kerfoot can’t play for an extended period of time.
Speaking of Kerfoot, he left last night's game midway through the second with a foot injury and didn’t return. Kerfoot can’t go tonight and Yak is still sick, so Gabriel Bourque will draw back into the lineup tonight.
Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen
Tyson Jost - J.T. Compher - Gabriel Bourque
Matt Nieto - Carl Soderberg - Blake Comeau
Sven Andrighetto - Colin Wilson
Nikita Zadorov - Erik Johnson
Patrik Nemeth - Tyson Barrie
Samuel Girard - Mark Barberio
The Capitals come into the game third in their division and have a 12-5-0 record at home this season. They will be looking for some revenge after the Avs handled them quite easily back in November - that was the 6-2 victory in which Nathan Mackinnon had 5 points.
As usual, the Capitals are led by Ovechkin, Evgeny Kuznetsov, and John Carlson, but it’s Tom Wilson that has been on fire lately. Wilson has 7 points in his last 4 games and has done a great job of picking up the slack while T. J. Oshie has been out of the lineup with an upper-body injury.
The Capitals are 1-4-0 on the second leg of a back to back this season
Alex Ovechkin - Niklas Backstrom - Tom Wilson
Jakub Vrana - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Alex Chiasson
Brett Connolly - Lars Eller - Andre Burakovsky
Chandler Stephenson - Jay Beagle - Devante Smith-Pelly
Brooks Orpik - John Carlson
Dmitri Orlov - Matt Niskanen
Christian Djoos - Madison Bowey
After getting last night off, Semyon Varlamov is going to be back in net for the Avalanche. He is coming off a win Saturday night and will be looking to improve on his .905 sv%.
For Washington, we are going to see their starter. Brayden Holtby played last night, but he was pulled after letting in three goals on the first 12 shots he faced. Holtby is still one of the best in the league and he comes into the game with a 16-7-0 record and a. 918 sv%.
How to Watch/Listen
As always the game will be on Altitude, puck drop at 5:00 pm MST. It will also be on NBCS-Washington.
You can also listen to the game with our friend Marc Moser on Altitude Sports Radio 950AM