Last season the Washington Capitals won 8 consecutive games in the beginning of April, and now this season they are back to those winning ways. This weekend, the Capitals have an opportunity to continue their winning streak and stretch it to 6 games. The challenge ahead – get past two of the top teams from the Western conference.
The Phoenix Coyotes, a team that the Capitals haven’t faced in almost 2 years. Their last game against each other was on November 21st, 2011 – the Capitals won the game by a score of 4-3. Goals were scored by Backstrom, Carlson, Eakin, and Laich (GWG) – Tomas Vokoun made 20 saves in the victory.
This season the Coyotes sit 3rd in a competitive Pacific division (5th in the conference) – their record is 11-4-2 with 24 points in the standings. Phoenix currently has 8 players with 10 points or more in their 17 games played – Radim Vrbata and Martin Hanzal lead the team with 13 points. Captain Shane Doan has 2 goals in the last 2 games played, and goalie Mike Smith has won 4 out of his last 5 starts.
The Colorado Avalanche, a team that is being pushed to new levels due to a new coach – legendary goaltender Patrick Roy. Colorado has already made their trip to Washington – dominating the Caps by a score of 5-1. Alex Tanguay scored twice, Duchene, MacKinnon, and Jamie McGinn all netted one goal for the Avs. This was the first game that Varlamov played against the Capitals since they had traded him to Colorado, and he got the start and the win for the Avalanche.
Before this season, the Capitals skated against the Avs on December 17th, 2011 – a game in which the Avs won 2-1. Former Capitals Alexander Semin scored the lone goal for Washington – Cody Mcleod and Erik Johnson (GWG) scored the goals for Colorado, and Jean-Sebastien Giguere made 25 saves to earn the win.
This season the Avalanche are stunning the NHL world with a 13-2 record – which gives them 24 points. They sit atop the Central division and are in 2nd place in the Western conference. They are being led by stellar play from Semyon Varlamov – who has a record of 8-2 in 10 starts. Points are being contributed from Matt Duchene who leads the team with 18 – followed by Paul Stastny (12), P.A. Parenteau (11), and Gabriel Landeskog (11). Nathan MacKinnon has 10 points so far in his rookie campaign, 2 goals and 8 assists in 15 games played.
Both games are scheduled for 8 o’clock starts (EST), and can be seen on CSN (Coyotes) and CSN+ (Avalanche).
Tags: Washington Capitals