Three-time Hart Trophy winner Alex Ovechkin looks to get on the scoresheet for the first time this season when his Washington Capitals host the unbeaten Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday. Ovechkin has recorded eight shots in his first two games but has yet to post a point, along with linemates T.J. Oshie and Evgeny Kuznetsov, during a 1-0-1 start for the Capitals.
“They’re on the dance floor,” Capitals coach Barry Trotz told the Washington Post of the unit. “They’ve just got to dance to the same song.” The Capitals have allowed just three goals in the first two games and will need that kind of effort against Colorado’s talented offense, which has netted 10 tallies in two victories after rallying for a 4-3 overtime triumph at Pittsburgh on Monday. Captain Gabriel Landeskog scored the tying and winning goals against the defending Stanley Cup champion and Nathan MacKinnon has registered a team-best four points, including a goal in Colorado’s 6-5 victory over Dallas in the season opener. “It definitely feels good to have a couple comeback wins,” Landeskog told Altitude. “The guys have done a good job of sticking with it.”
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Altitude (Colorado), CSN-DC (Washington)
ABOUT THE AVALANCHE (2-0-0): Colorado is getting outstanding production from its defense in the early going as five blue-liners notched at least one point against Dallas on Saturday and four got on the scoresheet versus the Penguins. Tyson Barrie and Erik Johnson lead the team’s defensemen with three points apiece while newcomer Patrick Wiercioch scored his first goal with the Avalanche on Monday. Joe Colborne, who registered his first career hat trick in his debut with Colorado on Saturday, recorded two shots and one hit against Pittsburgh while playing on a line with Rene and Gabriel Bourque.
ABOUT THE CAPITALS (1-0-1): Washington is off to slow start on the power play (0-for-8) after finishing last season fifth in the league at almost 22 percent. While Ovechkin’s line has yet to tally, Daniel Winnik and Andre Burakovsky each have registered a pair of goals while Nicklas Backstrom notched a pair of assists. Brett Connolly could make his debut for Washington and Trotz reportedly was considering giving Philipp Grubauer his first start and rest over No. 1 goaltender Braden Holtby.
1. The Avalanche have gone 4-for-9 on the power play, but their penalty-killers have surrendered four goals on nine opportunities as well.
2. The Capitals are 4-0-0 against the Avalanche over the last two seasons and scored 11 times in two meetings during 2015-16.
3. Washington D John Carlson has recorded an assist while leading the team with 11 shots over the first two contests.
PREDICTION: Capitals 5, Avalanche 3