After a being dealt their first loss of the season by the St. Louis Blues Saturday night, the Colorado Avalanche will now head east for their first road trip. A shorthanded Avs team will be in Washington tonight to take on Alex Ovechkin and the 1-0-1 Washington Capitals.
Sitting at 1-1 on the year and missing some key players from the lineup, the Avalanche are going to need a full team effort if they want to leave Washington with a winning record on the season.
The Avalanche will get a gigantic boost to the lineup tonight as Nathan MacKinnon will make his season debut after submitting two consecutive negative COVID tests to the league. The team’s offense just doesn’t look the same without MacKinnon so his return should spark the offense.
It sounds like Jack Johnson should also be cleared to play tonight after missing Saturday’s game due to COVID protocol.
The Avs will still be without their captain Gabriel Landskog for one more game as he serves his suspension for a dangerous hit on Kirby Dach in the season opener. The team will also be without Val Nichuskin and Devon Toews as both work their way back from injury.
Due to the injuries - and a new one to Dylan Sikura who was placed on the IR - the team has recalled Martin Kaut and Mikhail Malstev from the Eagles.
Coach Bednar has announced that he will dress 11 forwards and 7 defensemen tonight.
Burakovsky - MacKinnon - Rantanen
Ranta - Kadri - Compher
Helm - Jost - O’Connor
Maltsev - Kaut
Girard - Makar
Byram - E. Johnson
J. Johnson - Murray
Yesterday, Capitals legend Alex Ovechkin was named one of the NHL’s three stars as he has opened the year on fire recording three goals and two assists as his team split their first two games of the season. Playing alongside Evgeny Kuznetsov and Tom Wilson, Ovi has turned back the clock and looks like he’s ready to make a push towards breaking Wayne Gretzky’s all time scoring record.
The Avalanche will go back to Drcy Kuemper again as he looks to bounce back from a somewhat tough outting against the Blues.
Across the ice. the Caps are expected to play Ilya Samsonov who will be making his first start of the season after Vitek Vanecek was in net for the team’s first two games.