#3 Colorado Avalanchevs.#4 Washington Capitals
Written by David Hess
When: 7:00 PM ET, Tuesday, October 18, 2016
Where: Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.
Lines: Washington -210/ Colorado +188
Tonight on the ice the Colorado Avalanche will invade the Verizon Center in the nation’s capital to battle it out with the Washington Capitals. The Avalanche come in off a game vs the Penguins on Monday night, while the Capitals are off a 2-1 win over the islanders in their last game. The Under is 1`5-6 the last 21 games in this series.
The Colorado Avalanche have a game at the Rangers on Monday, but before that game they took out the Dallas Stars in a wild 6-5 game. The Avs were led by a hat trick from Joe Colborne and he did so on just four shots. Pretty efficient there. Also scoring in the win was Tyson Barrie, Carl Soderberg and Nathan MacKinnon. The Avs are hoping for a stronger start than last year’s start that saw them go 2-6 out the gate, plus they are looking to erase the memories of a 0-6 finish to the season which was the reason that they missed the postseason last year. That’s why the win vs Dallas was such a huge early season win for them.
Taking the win in that game was Semyon Varlamov, who went 27-25-3 with a 2.81 GAA last year, including 13-10 with a 2.53 GAA on the road, while vs the Capitals in his career he has gone 3-1-1 with a 2.56 GAA. Last year the Avalanche ranked 21st in the league in scoring at 2.59 gpg, while also ranking 25th in shots taken (28.6 spg) and 19th in power play conversions, converting on 18.0% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice they were poor as they ranked 25th in goals allowed, giving up 2.93 gpg, while also ranking 28th in shots allowed (32.3) and 23rd in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 19.8% of their chances.
Last year, Braden Holtby was a very dominant goalie overall, but even more so at home where he went a strong 25-3-3 with a 2.15 GAA. This year in his first home start he stopped 21 of 22 shots in a 2-1 win over the Islanders. Just so hard to beat this guy here at home. Overall last year, he was the best goalie in the game as he went 48-9-7 with a 2.20 GAA. In his career, he has faced the Avalanche five times and is 4-1 with a 2.40 GAA in those games. In the win over the Islanders, the Capitals got off 28 shots but were able to must just the two goals, which were both scored by Daniel Winnik, who scored six goals total for the capitals and Maple Leafs combined last year. Last year he played 20 games for the Caps and scored two goals in those games. He is off to a fine start.
The Caps have scored just four total goals in their first two games, but there is no panic with this team as they know they have plenty of firepower on it and will get this thing turned around. Last year, the Capitals ranked 2nd in the league in scoring at 3.02 gpg, while also ranking 7th in shots taken (30.6 spg) and 5th in power play conversions, converting on 21.9% of their chances. At the defensive end of the ice, they were very strong as they ranked 2nd in goals allowed, giving up 2.33 gpg, while also ranking 6th in shots allowed (28.4) and 2nd in penalty kill, allowing teams to convert on 14.8% of their chances.
The Capitals are a strong home team, especially with Holtby in goal and they are the far fresher team here as they have had a couple days off, while the Avalanche are playing with no rest. Hardly seems fair, but the Caps will use the time off to fix their offense and put up a nice number here on what will be a tired Colorado team. Take the Caps on the puckline in this one.
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