|6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET2:00 GMT10:00 7:00 PM MST9:00 PM EST6:00 UAE (+1)21:00 ETNaN:� BRT, January 24, 2023
Ball Arena, Denver, Colorado Attendance: 18,132
Former champs take trip down memory lane when Avs visit Capitals
Washington Capitals at Colorado Avalanche
- The Capitals have won their last three games in Colorado (each by a 3-2 score) and they're 6-1-0 over their last seven road games against the Avalanche (dating back to 2014-15). They have the most wins in Denver over the last nine seasons of any Eastern Conference team.
- The Capitals lost, 6-2, to the Golden Knights in Las Vegas on Saturday. The Caps' four-goal margin of defeat tied their season high, done twice before: 4-0 versus Colorado on Nov. 19 and 5-1 at New Jersey on Nov. 26.
- The Capitals are 1-5-0 in the six games Alex Ovechkin has not played over the last two seasons (1-4-0 in 2021-22, and Saturday's 6-2 loss in Las Vegas), but they were 7-2-2 in the 11 games Ovechkin missed in 2020-21. Ovechkin has played in 1322 of Washington's 1370 regular-season games during his 18-season NHL career (96.5%).
- Colorado has won its last five games, outscoring the opposition 22-6. It's the Avs' longest winning streak this season and fewest goals allowed over a five-game span in 2022-23. The only other NHL teams with a current winning streak of five games or longer are Edmonton (six games) and Boston (five games).
- Nathan MacKinnon has 699 points in his 672 NHL games. Only six active players reached 700 career points in fewer than 700 games: Connor McDavid (488), Sidney Crosby (497), Alex Ovechkin (579), Evgeni Malkin (580), Patrick Kane (696) and Steven Stamkos (696).
- Alexandar Georgiev recorded 4-1 wins at Calgary and Vancouver in his last two games, after going 1-5-1 with a 4.10 GAA in his first seven games after the NHL's Christmas break.
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The last time Darcy Kuemper and Nicolas Aube-Kubel played hockey in Colorado, they were taking part in the Stanley Cup Final for the Avalanche last June.
Aube-Kubel and Kuemper were essentially one-year rentals for Colorado and became salary cap casualties after the championship parade rolled through downtown Denver. Kuemper landed in Washington as the No. 1 goaltender, and Aube-Kubel went to Toronto before being waived by the Maple Leafs and claimed by the Capitals.
Both former Avs will make their first trip back to Colorado when the Capitals visit Denver on Tuesday night.
Colorado acquired Kuemper from Arizona ahead of last season with the hope he would stabilize the Avalanche's situation in net. He missed four postseason games due to injury but played all six Stanley Cup games.
"It was a pretty special year," Kuemper said. "It was only one year, but it's going to be a lot of fun just to be back there. Obviously, some of the best moments of my life were last year."
Aube-Kubel has two goals and four assists in 17 games with Washington this season.
Kuemper is coming off a tough game against Vegas on Saturday night when he allowed four goals on 18 shots and was pulled from the game midway through the second period.
Alex Ovechkin missed the 6-2 loss to the Golden Knights with a lower-body injury but was skating at practice on Monday in Denver. It was a rare missed game for Ovechkin, who has sat out just 28 games due to injury in his long career.
Head coach Peter Laviolette told the Washington Post that Ovechkin looked good in practice but is still considered day-to-day.
Forward T.J. Oshie, who had a goal on Saturday, returned to Washington, D.C. to be with his wife, who is expecting the couple's fourth child.
Colorado is home after sweeping a three-game road trip that ended with a 2-1 shootout win in Seattle on Saturday night. The Avalanche were reeling before winning their last five games, the last three without defenseman Cale Makar.
Makar sat with an upper-body injury, but he was on the ice for Monday's practice. Veteran Erik Johnson did not practice in what was classified as a maintenance day, but he will be evaluated at Tuesday's morning skate.
"It's nice to go on a little run here. We needed to do it," Johnson said after the shootout win over the Kraken. "It's three more games until the break, and then hopefully we're sitting where we want to be."
Colorado has three games left -- all at home -- before a nine-day break for All-Star Weekend. Makar, Mikko Rantanen and Nathan MacKinnon will compete in the All-Star Game on Feb. 4 in Sunrise, Fla.
Tuesday night could be a memorable one for head coach Jared Bednar. He is currently tied with Michel Bergeron for most wins by a Quebec Nordiques/Avalanche coach with 265 and would grab the record with a victory Tuesday.
--Field Level Media
Updated January 23, 2023