NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Wednesday, January 9th
(All times eastern)
Colorado Avalanche (22-17-3) at Washington Capitals (17-20-5), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Avalanche are struggling on the power play without
their two biggest stars. Colorado will try to avoid its sixth loss in seven
games tonight when they visit the Washington Capitals at the Verizon Center.
Colorado has dropped five of its last six games, and is 0-for-17 on the man
advantage in that span. The Avalanche are ranked next to last on the power
play this year, scoring at just a 13.4 percent clip. Only the Blues (12.1
percent) are worse with the extra skater.
Last season, the Avs ranked fourth in the league on the power play with a 21.1
percentage. However, playing this year without both Joe Sakic (hernia surgery)
and Ryan Smyth (broken right ankle) isn't helping.
Colorado saw just one situation with the man advantage on Tuesday and failed
to score in a 1-0 loss to Detroit. Dominik Hasek stopped all 19 shots he faced
to guide the Red Wings.
Jose Theodore took the tough loss, stopping 24 shots for the Avalanche, who
have netted 10 goals in their last six games.
Colorado has lost three in a row on the road and are 6-11-3 overall as the
visiting team this year. Last night's loss was in the opener of a five-game
road trip that will also take the team to Carolina, Florida and Tampa Bay.
Washington has won three of its last four games after posting a 5-4 overtime
win versus Montreal on Saturday. Mike Green's third point of the game came at
the 1:27 mark of overtime as he redirected a Michael Nylander pass into the
net from the right circle.
Green and Nylander each had two assists, while Alexander Ovechkin scored twice
to give him 32 goals on the season, which is tied for second most in the NHL.
Boyd Gordon and Nicklas Backstrom also scored goals in the victory and Olaf
Kolzig made 23 saves.
Green is tied for the NHL lead in goals among defenseman with 11. Ovechkin,
meanwhile, has found the back of the net in 17 of his last 27 games and also
has at least a point in 24 of his last 27 tests (23 goals, 12 assists).
The Capitals have a trio of players questionable for tonight's game in Tom
Poti (upper body), Brian Pothier (upper body) and Alexander Semin (tailbone).
Poti and Semin have each missed the last two contests, while Pothier sat out
Washington has won its last two at home and begins a five-game residency
tonight, its longest of the season. The Capitals are 8-10-1 as the home team
and also host Philadelphia, Ottawa, Edmonton and Florida.
The Capitals and Avs will meet for the only time this year tonight. Colorado
is visiting the Verizon Center for the first time since a 2-1 Washington
victory on March 16, 2003. The clubs have split two games in Denver since.
The Caps won the most recent meeting, a 5-3 victory on October 25, 2006.
01/09 10:25:33 ET