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Colorado Avalanche Game Day: First Road Game

Tonight kicks off a 12 day, six game cross-country adventure

Colorado Avalanche v Washington Capitals Photo by Patrick McDermott/NHLI via Getty Images

The Colorado Avalanche show is about to hit the road. The Avs are 4-0 this season, and just wrapped up a dominant first home stand. They are now on the road for six games, starting tonight with the Washington Capitals in Washington, DC.

The Caps are also returning home after a 1-1 road trip where they lost of the Nashville Predators 6-5, but defeated the Dallas Stars 4-1.

The road trip brings the return of our favorite tweets: the in-flight menu options.

Colorado Avalanche

Sunday was a travel day for the Avs after they defeated the Arizona Coyotes 3-2 in overtime. Nazem Kadri scored his first goal in the burgundy and blue, and Andre Burakovsky scored his second game winner in as many games. The new guys, along with reliable veterans, look to be in mid-season form.

Tyson Jost also scored his first goal of the season on Saturday. Cale Makar picked up his fifth assist of the season, while Burakovsky recorded his second. They’ve all played in every game so far, and are in-sync and producing. Seeing the offense and defense on the same page after only four games is a good sign that this team is ready to face some tough road competition.

Burakovsky will be facing his former team for this first time. He was drafted by the Caps in 2013, and appeared in 328 games with them, winning the Stanley Cup alongside Philipp Grubauer. Burky is already seeing more ice time and he did in Washington, and is poised to show them how much he’s grown in just a few months with new line mates.

Lines (projected)

Gabriel Landeskog - Nathan MacKinnon - Mikko Rantanen

Andre Burakovsky - Nazem Kadri - Joonas Donskoi

Matt Nieto - Tyson Jost - Colin Wilson

Matt Calvert - PE Bellemare - Val Nichushkin

Sam Girard - Erik Johnson

Nikita Zadorov - Cale Makar

Ryan Graves - Mark Barberio

Washington Capitals

The Washington Capitals have yet to win a game at home. They opened the season on the road, went home, and then took another road trip. They flew home yesterday and had an optional skate ahead of today’s pregame prep.

Evgeny Kuznetsov has returned from his three game suspension, and the Caps’ top lines and defense pairs are producing. Alex Ovechkin has five points in six games, and Dmitry Orlov survived a practice injury scare to return to the ice. Michal Kempny is also expected to rejoin the lineup any day now, and will only add to a team that is on the right track, but needs to string a couple successful games together before they become a league powerhouse again.

Lines (projected)

Alex Ovechkin- Nicklas Backstrom- Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana- Evgeny Kuznetsov- TJ Oshie

Carl Hagelin- Lars Eller- Richard Panik

Brendan Leipsic- Nic Dowd- Garnett Hathaway

Jonas Siegenthaler- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov- Nick Jensen

Radko Gudas- Tyler Lewington

Starting Goalies

Philipp Grubauer will once again be facing the team he won a Stanley Cup with. He got Saturday night off as Pavel Francouz made his first NHL start and earned the win. In three starts, Grubauer has allowed seven goals, but the Avs’ offense has been strong and he has won all three starts. He’s familiar with Capital One Arena, and should provide another dominant performance.

Braden Holtby is in his final contract year with the Washington Capitals, but has been a constant and successful presence in the crease. This season has gotten off to a bit of a rough start, as he only has one win and a .868 save percentage. His backup is a 22 year old rookie, Ilya Samsanov, and he could be feeling the pressure to carry his team back to the playoffs.