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Capitals at Avalanche preview

Grubauer in goal for Washington; Colorado to play first home game since Nov. 2

by Rick Sadowski / Correspondent

CAPITALS (10-8-1) at AVALANCHE (8-7-1)



The Game 

The Colorado Avalanche will attempt to end a three-game losing streak (0-2-1) when they return to Pepsi Center for the first time since Nov. 2 to play the Washington Capitals on Thursday.

The Avalanche went 0-1-1 against the Ottawa Senators during the 2017 SAP NHL Global Series in Stockholm last Friday and Saturday.

Goalie Philipp Grubauer will start for the Capitals, who conclude a two-game road trip. The Capitals lost 6-3 to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday and are 5-2-0 in their past seven games. They have won six consecutive games against Colorado since a 4-1 loss on Nov. 10, 2013.


Players to watch

Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin needs two goals to tie Mike Bossy (573) for 21st place on the NHL's all-time list. He has eight points (three goals, five assists) in his past six games against the Avalanche.

Avalanche forward Alexander Kerfoot has seven points (four goals, three assists) in a four-game point streak. His seven goals are tied for second with Adrian Kempe (Los Angeles Kings) and Alex DeBrincat (Chicago Blackhawks) among NHL rookies.


They said it

"He competes. He's a real solid, useful guy for us and I know he'll do a real good job." -- Capitals coach Barry Trotz on defenseman Taylor Chorney, who will replace Christian Djoos (upper body)

"The (Sweden) trip was so much fun and a blast, but I think everybody kind of felt on the flight home that we all wanted to go home and see our families and sleep in our own beds. It was nice to get a couple days off to rest and now we're back at it." -- Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Devante Smith-Pelly

Chandler Stephenson -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Brett Connolly -- Lars Eller -- Tom Wilson

Nathan Walker -- Jay Beagle -- Alex Chiasson

Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen

Taylor Chorney -- John Carlson

Brooks Orpik -- Madison Bowey

Philipp Grubauer

Braden Holtby

Scratched: Aaron Ness, Jakub Vrana

Injured: Andre Burakovsky (fractured left thumb), Christian Djoos (upper body)


Avalanche projected lineup

Gabriel Landeskog -- Nathan MacKinnon -- Mikko Rantanen

Colin Wilson -- Alexander Kerfoot -- J.T. Compher

Matt Nieto -- Carl Soderberg -- Blake Comeau

Sven Andrighetto -- Vladislav Kamenev -- Nail Yakupov

Samuel Girard -- Erik Johnson

Nikita Zadorov -- Mark Barberio

Chris Bigras -- Andrei Mironov

Semyon Varlamov

Jonathan Bernier

Scratched: Gabriel Bourque

Injured: Tyson Barrie (upper body), Anton Lindholm (broken jaw), Patrik Nemeth (lower body), Tyson Jost (lower body)


Status report

Jost will be assigned to San Antonio of the American Hockey League for conditioning. ... Kamenev, recalled Tuesday from San Antonio, will make his Avalanche debut. He was acquired from Nashville in the three-team trade that sent center Matt Duchene to Ottawa on Nov. 5.


Stat pack

Carlson has eight points (two goals, eight assists) in his past seven games. ... MacKinnon has 10 points (four goals, six assists) in his past six games.

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