Colorado Avalanche goaltender Philipp Grubauer will get the start in net against his former team on Friday when the Washington Capitals visit Pepsi Center.
Selected in the fourth round of the 2010 draft by the Capitals, Grubauer played seven seasons in the organization and 101 NHL regular-season outings. He finished his time in D.C. with a 43-31-11 overall record, 2.29 goals-against average, .923 save percentage, six shutouts and a championship after the Washington won the Stanley Cup last June.
"Going all the way last year, looking back, was unbelievable, from where we came from," Grubauer said of his time with the Capitals. "D.C. has been home for the last couple years and I have played with those guys for so long. It is obviously going to be weird the first couple minutes. In warmups too, looking down and seeing the jerseys. We have the same goal here, and that is what we want to accomplish."
Colorado acquired the netminder on June 22 during the NHL Draft in exchange for the club's 2018 second-round pick. Grubauer signed a three-year contract with the Avalanche the following day.
Video: Philipp Grubauer on facing his old team
The Rosenheim, Germany, native has a 3-1-1 record this season, having last played on Nov. 2 at the Vancouver Canucks.
"It should be an exciting start for him. He's hungry to get back in the net," said Avs head coach Jared Bednar of Grubauer getting the nod on Friday. "He's put in some good work here, especially the last few days of practice gearing up for it, so looking forward to watching him play again."
Grubauer still has plenty of friends on a Washington team that didn't have much turnover in the offseason, but those friendships will be put on hold in the second contest of Colorado's two-game homestand.
"Once the puck drops, it's all about business," Grubauer said. "You can't focus on who is coming down… it doesn't matter. You have to stop the puck, and you got to focus on the situation and read the game."
Sven Andrighetto and J.T. Compher took part in the team's optional practice at Family Sports Center on Thursday after missing the past few weeks with their respective injuries.
Andrighetto skated in a regular jersey for the second consecutive day, while Compher practiced in a non-contact sweater. Andrighetto has missed six games with a lower-body injury, while Compher has been out for 13 contests with a head injury.
"I haven't talked to the trainers after the skate [today], but they certainly seem to be doing fine," Bednar said of both players. "I don't know what that means as far as a timeline. It could change daily, but I would say those guys are getting close here."
Video: Avs head coach Jared Bednar after practice
Bednar has previously stated that Andrighetto is doubtful for Friday's contest, while Compher could possibly return during the club's upcoming three-game road trip that begins Sunday at the Anaheim Ducks.
One other Colorado player took the ice on Friday in a non-contact jersey as defenseman Conor Timmins skated on his own before the team session. The rookie hasn't played a game since suffering a head injury last spring during the Ontario Hockey League Playoffs.
"He's back here working out now. Hopefully we see some progress out of him. That would be really good." Bednar said of Timmins. "I feel for him. It's been a while for him, so I'm sure he's anxious to get back into it and join the group here any way possible. Hopefully he can continue to keep working hard and without any setbacks."