Tonight is the first of two meetings this season between the Washington Capitals and Colorado Avalanche. The Caps are returning home from a road trip they’d probably like to forget, and the Avs are coming off a 3-2 OT win over Carolina on Thursday night. Both teams are dealing with lengthy injury lists right now, but Colorado seems to be weathering the storm a bit better.
Here’s how the Caps lined up for warmups tonight:
Capitals lines vs Colorado:— Samantha Pell (@SamanthaJPell) November 19, 2022
Kuemper (vs Georgiev)
This is the first time Darcy Kuemper is facing his former team after signing with the Capitals this summer. The Caps, on the other hand, are facing a familiar opponent in Alexandar Georgiev. According to Joe Beninati, Alex Ovechkin has eight goals in six career games against Georgiev coming into tonight – can he make it nine in seven?
Here’s Saturday night’s Plus/Minus:
Plus: The Capitals had a really great first period at 5-on-5, outshooting the Avalanche 14-8 and putting good pressure on Georgiev.
Minus: Stop us if you’ve heard this before, but the power play is...so bad right now. They are 1 for 26 in their last five-plus games, with that one conversion coming in St. Louis on Thursday.
And now, the most important starting lineup tonight!
Seven more notes on the game:
1. Nick Jensen was called for tripping Nathan MacKinnon at 6:38 of the first, putting the league’s top-ranked power play on the ice. Colorado had some solid extended zone time, with the Caps not clearing the puck until over a minute into Jensen’s penalty. They registered a shot on goal and hit a post, but they could not convert.
2. Garnet Hathaway took a tripping call on MacKinnon with 2:04 left in the first to give Colorado their second power play opportunity of the period. 36 seconds into Hathaway’s penalty, Lars Eller was also called for tripping. Not great, Bob! Darcy Kuemper and the trio of penalty killers gave it their best effort, including three saves and five blocked shots, but they couldn’t hold the Avs off forever. After 80 seconds of sustained zone time, Cale Makar got his team on the board first with an Ovi-esque one-timer with 20 seconds left to cash in on the 5-on-3 opportunity.
3. The Capitals got their first power play chance of the game with 11:49 left in the second when Devon Toews was called for holding Garnet Hathaway. JT Compher was without a stick for the second half of Washington’s power play, but the Caps failed to even get a shot off during the sequence to try and take advantage. Still 1-0 Colorado just over halfway through.
4. Nathan MacKinnon scored one heck of a goal with 6:46 to go to double Colorado’s lead over Washington. He danced his way towards Kuemper’s net with an absolute stickhandling clinic, skirted around Nicolas Aube-Kubel, and flipped the puck top shelf past Kuemper. Words honestly don’t do it justice, this needs a replay:
This MacKinnon goal is mesmerizing. pic.twitter.com/FtkEa4QIMo— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) November 20, 2022
5. Mikko Rantanen took a seat for tripping Dylan Strome with 2:29 left in the second to give the Caps their second power play chance of the evening. No shots on goal to speak of, folks, carry on. 2-0 Colorado after 40. The Avs are 8-1 this season when leading after two periods, so hold on tight Caps fans.
6. Andrew Cogliano made it 3-0 Avalanche at 8:57 of the third. Jacob MacDonald fired the puck on net and it ping-ponged around in the slot before hitting Cogliano’s skate and dribbling past Kuemper. Kuemper has been the victim of some odd, tough bounces this season, so just add this one to the list. 3-0 Avs, which means the Capitals have now trailed by three or more goals in four straight games. Great!
7. Arturri Lehkonen scored with 3:48 left to put the Avs up 4-0. Alex Ovechkin accidentally sent a prime cross-slot pass to Lehkonen while trying to strip the puck from Rantanen, and Lehkonen did not waste yet another unlucky moment for Washington. With this tally, the Caps have given up five or more goals in four straight games. Super!
Up next for the Caps: a three-day break before a Thanksgiving Eve meeting with the Flyers on Wednesday at 7:30 ET.