Washington Capitals (10-8-1; 7-12 ATS; 10-9 O/U) vs. Colorado Avalanche (8-7-1; 11-5 ATS; 11-4-1 O/U)
NHL: Thursday, November 16, 2017 at 9:00pm EST
Line: Washington -120/Colorado +100
The Colorado Avalanche will look to put an end to their losing streak when they host the Washington Capitals Thursday night from the Pepsi Center. The Capitals dropped a 6-3 decision to the Predators on Tuesday night, and the Avalanche were edged 4-3 by the Senators in their latest action. The Capitals won both meetings against the Avalanche last season.
Capitals Look to Rebound from Rough Loss to Predators
The Washington Capitals had their mini two-game winning streak snapped in a 6-3 road loss to the Predators on Tuesday night. T.J. Oshie led the way with two goals in the defeat, and has now tallied three goals in his last three games. The 30-year old right-winger is having a solid season, notching nine goals with five assists in 19 games played. Evgeny Kuznetsov picked up an assist in the loss, and has overtaken Alex Ovechkin for the team lead in points with three goals and 17 assists in 20 games on the season. Kuznetsov has been productive against the Avalanche throughout his career, recording seven points in six career games. The Capitals are playing solid hockey, winning five out of their last seven games and are now 5-5-1 on the road this season. They are scoring an average of 2.8 goals per game, ranking them 18th in the NHL.
The Capitals are expected to go back to Braden Holtby in goal in this contest. The 28-year old net minder was not at his best in the 6-3 loss on Tuesday, however overall he is having another strong season, sporting a 2.68 GAA and a .928 save percentage to go with a 10-4 record. Washington is allowing an average of 2.9 goals, placing them 18th in the NHL.
Avalanche Return Home After Trip to Sweden
The Colorado Avalanche salvaged one point in their two game series against the Ottawa Senators in Stockholm, Sweden last weekend. They were edged 4-3 in overtime in the first contest last Friday, and lost 4-3 in the second matchup on Saturday. Alex Kerfoot continued his red-hot play in the loss on Saturday, netting one goal along with one assist. The 23-year old center has collected seven points in his last four games, and is now third in team scoring with seven goals and six assists on the season. Avalanche captain Nathan MacKinnon is heating up, recording ten points in his last six games. The 22-year old center now leads Colorado in points with five goals and ten assists on the season. MacKinnon notched one goal and one assist in two games against the Capitals last season. They have now lost three straight games and own a 5-1 home record on the season. Colorado is scoring an average of 3.3 goals, ranking them eighth in the NHL.
The Avalanche will likely go with Semyon Varlamov between the pipes in this contest. Varlamov owns a subpar 3.18 GAA and a .908 save percentage to go with a 6-3-1 record on the season. Colorado is allowing an average of 3.4 goals, placing them 27th overall.
The Washington Capitals are:
- 6-0 in their last 6 games against the Avalanche.
- 12-2 in their last 14 games after allowing five or more goals in their previous game.
- 13-4 in their last 17 games against the Central division.
The Colorado Avalanche are:
- 5-16 in their last 21 Thursday games.
- 9-24 in their last 33 games against a team with a winning record.
- 1-4 in their last 5 games when their opponent allows five or more goals in their previous game.
I am taking the Capitals in this contest. The Avalanche are struggling right now, losing three straight games and have allowed 14 goals in those three losses. They possess weak goaltending and have very little depth defensively, so I expect the Capitals to have no problem finding the back of the net. The Capitals have won five out of their last seven games and are only allowing an average of 2.6 goals in that span, plus they have won six straight against Colorado.