Darcy Kuemper got his Stanley Cup ring when Colorado visited Washington back in November. Now, he’ll make his first start in Denver as a visitor since backstopping last year’s championship run.
He’ll do so against an Avalanche team that seems to have rediscovered the mojo that made it a champion in winning five straight after hitting rock bottom in a loss to Chicago, who won’t be getting back Norris Trophy winner Cale Makar still out due to injury.
And Washington has not been at its best lately, dropping roughly every other game in 2023. They still have the core that has made them a perennial contender throughout Alex Ovechkin’s career, but it’s dinged up and aging and this could be the year they finally miss the playoffs.
Colorado Avalanche Projected Lineup
Artturi Lehkonen (62) - Nathan MacKinnon (29) - Evan Rodrigues (9)
Valeri Nichushkin (13) - J.T. Compher (37) - Mikko Rantanen (96)
Andrew Cogliano (11) - Alex Newhook (18 - Logan O’Connor (25)
Anton Blidh (36) - Ben Meyers (59) - Jacob MacDonald (26)
Devon Toews (7) - Erik Johnson (6)
Samuel Girard (49) - Brad Hunt (17)
Andreas Englund (88) - Kurtis MacDermid (56)
Alexandar Georgiev (40)
Washington Capitals Projected Lineup
Alex Ovechkin (8) - Dylan Strome (17) - Conor Sheary (73)
Sonny Milano (15) - Nicklas Backstrom (19) - Tom Wilson (43)
Marcus Johansson (90) - Evgeny Kuznetsov (92) - Garnet Hathaway (21)
Anthony Mantha (39) - Lars Eller (20) - Nicolas Aube-Kubel (96)
Erik Gustafsson (56) - Trevor van Riemsdyk (57)
Dmitry Orlov (9) - Nick Jensen (3)
Alexander Alexeyev (27) - Martin Fehervary (42)
Darcy Kuemper (35)