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Avalanche at Capitals preview

Colorado goes for fifth straight win in Burakovsky's return to Washington

by Harvey Valentine / Independent Correspondent

AVALANCHE (4-0-0) at CAPITALS (3-1-2)



The Game

The Colorado Avalanche will try to open the season 5-0-0 for the first time since 2013-14 (6-0-0) when they play the Washington Capitals at Capital One Arena on Monday.

Andre Burakovsky (two goals, one assist), who was traded to the Avalanhce by the Capitals on June 28, returns to Washington having scored the game-winning goal in the past two games, including in Colorado's 3-2 overtime win against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday.

The Avalanche are starting a season-long six-game road trip.

The Capitals ended a three-game losing streak (0-1-2) with a 4-1 win against the Dallas Stars on Saturday and are opening a three-game homestand.


Players to watch 

Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen has six points (three goals, three assists) in a four-game point streak to open season.

Capitals defenseman John Carlson has seven points (two goals, five assists) in a three-game point streak.


They said it

"This is a tough road trip. Tough teams all the way through. … But it's good to get out on the road with your team early in the season, especially when we've got as many new guys [as we do]. Try to build some chemistry, spend some time together." -- Avalanche coach Jared Bednar

"We're playing pretty good hockey. I think we've had a chance to win every night. We're putting ourselves in the position we want to be in throughout the game. We've been trying to close it out a little bit better…and batten down the hatches late in the third." -- Capitals forward Tom Wilson


Avalanche projected lineup  

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Joonas Donskoi -- Nazem Kadri -- Andre Burakovsky

Matt Nieto -- Tyson Jost -- Colin Wilson

Matt Calvert -- Pierre-Edouard Bellemare -- Valeri Nichushkin

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Nikita Zadorov -- Cale Makar

Ryan Graves -- Mark Barberio

Philipp Grubauer

Pavel Francouz

Scratched: Kevin Connauton, Vladislav Kamenev

Injured: Ian Cole (hip surgery), J.T. Compher (lower body)


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana -- Lars Eller -- T.J. Oshie

Carl Hagelin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Richard Panik

Brendan Leipsic -- Nic Dowd -- Garnet Hathaway

Jonas Siegenthaler -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Nick Jensen

Radko Gudas - Tyler Lewington

Braden Holtby

Ilya Samsonov

Scratched: Chandler Stephenson

Injured: Michal Kempny (hamstring)


Status report

The Avalanche did not practice on Sunday. … Kempny said after an optional skate on Sunday that he is ready to return and will discuss a timetable with the coaches, team doctor and training staff.


Stat pack 

The Landeskog (two goals, two assists), MacKinnon (one goal, five assists) and Rantanen line has 16 points (six goals, 10 assists) in four games. … Makar (five assists) is the first defenseman in Avalanche/Quebec Nordiques history to open his career with points in each of his first four regular season games. … Ovechkin has four points (three goals, one assist) in a three-game point streak. … Wilson has four points (two goals, two assists) in a three-game point streak.

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