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Preview: Avalanche at Capitals

Goalie Semyon Varlamov starts for Colorado in second of back-to-back; Philipp Grubauer making season debut for Washington

by Katie Brown / Correspondent

AVALANCHE (2-0-0) at CAPITALS (1-0-1)

7 p.m. ET; ALT, CSN-DC, NHL.TV


Avalanche team scope

Goalie Semyon Varlamov will start for the Avalanche. Backup Calvin Pickard made 28 saves in Colorado's 4-3 overtime win against the Pittsburgh Penguins on Monday. "As a group, we have to make sure to stay even keel and not get too excited about this one," forward Gabriel Landeskog told the Avalanche website. "We'll enjoy it here for another hour and after that we have to get on the plane and really recharge for [Tuesday], rest up. It will be a quick turnaround. I think we started the road trip off pretty good, so we have to keep it going." Colorado trailed 2-0 in its first two games against the Dallas Stars and Penguins, and rallied to win each time.


Capitals team scope

Goalie Philipp Grubauer will get his first start of the season. Grubauer was 8-9-1 with a 2.32 goals-against average and .918 save percentage in 22 games (16 starts) last season. Coach Barry Trotz said he made the decision to play Grubauer based on the fact he hasn't played in a while, and with games coming up against Eastern Conference opponents (Florida Panthers, New York Rangers), it made sense to play Grubauer against the Avalanche. "I just felt the timing was right," Trotz said. "We'll get [Holtby] a few games here and then [Grubauer] will have one rather than waiting until the end of the month. I know I can go with [Holtby] with games spread out a little bit but I don't think it's fair to [Grubauer]. We're going to need him this year and down the stretch, so he needs to play."


Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Jarome Iginla

Mikhail Grigorenko -- Carl Soderberg -- Matt Duchene

Gabriel Bourque -- Joe Colborne -- Rene Bourque

Andreas Martinsen -- Ben Smith -- Blake Comeau

Nikita Zadorov -- Erik Johnson

Francois Beauchemin -- Tyson Barrie

Fedor Tyutin -- Patrick Wiercioch
Semyon Varlamov

Calvin Pickard
Scratched: Cody McLeod, Eric Gelinas

Injured: John Mitchell (hip)

Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- T.J. Oshie

Andre Burakovsky -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Marcus Johansson

Brett Connolly -- Lars Eller -- Justin Williams

Daniel Winnik -- Jay Beagle -- Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner -- Matt Niskanen

Dmitry Orlov -- John Carlson

Brooks Orpik -- Nate Schmidt
Philipp Grubauer

Braden Holtby
Scratched: Zachary Sanford, Taylor Chorney

Injured: None

Status report

Mitchell did not travel with the Avalanche on their four-game road trip. … Connolly will make his Capitals debut on the third line in place of Sanford. "It will be an opportunity for him to use his skill set playing with a couple of veterans in Eller and Williams," Trotz said. "I think his skill set will fit nicely in there."

Who's hot

Landeskog scored two goals, including the game winner, Monday. … Johnson and MacKinnon each had two assists in the game. … Winnik scored twice in Washington's 2-1 win against the New York Islanders on Oct. 15. 

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