(SportsNetwork.com) – The Colorado Avalanche are on their first winning streak
of the season, but they’ll have to try and extend that run on Thursday night
without their No. 1 goaltender as they play host to the Washington Capitals.
Semyon Varlamov will miss tonight’s game after aggravating a groin injury in
Saturday’s 3-2 win over the New Jersey Devils. Varlamov, who missed three
games earlier this season due to a groin issue, is day-to-day and as of now
isn’t expected to need time on injured reserve.
Varlamov, a former Capitals netminder, played for the 10th time in Colorado’s
past 13 games when he made 23 saves to beat the Devils. He is 4-5-4 on the
season with a 2.95 goals against average and .918 save percentage on the
Calvin Pickard was recalled from the minor leagues to back up Reto Berra, who
is expected to face the Capitals for the first time in his career tonight.
Erik Johnson and Matt Duchene scored third-period goals on Saturday to help
Colorado split a four-game road trip by winning two straight for the first
time all season. John Mitchell also scored.
“We’re very happy with those last two wins and hopefully we can build on that
for the next game at home against Washington,” said Colorado head coach
The Capitals themselves are trying to win a second straight contest as they
picked up a 2-1 overtime victory against the Arizona Coyotes on Tuesday night.
Eric Fehr netted the game-winner at the 3:16 mark of the extra time, putting
home a rebound past netminder Mike Smith.
Jay Beagle scored the other goal while Braden Holtby stopped 23 shots for the
Capitals, who snapped a two-game slide.
“I think anytime you can grind out a win, it’s always a good thing,” said
Capitals head coach Barry Trotz. “It was a big win on the road. We needed
Washington had scored just once in its two previous losses and was outscored
9-2 in losing both of its matchups last season with Colorado. The Avs have won
four straight overall in this series, including two in a row at home.
Holtby has faced the Avalanche only once before and gave up four goals on 37
shots in a 4-1 defeat in Colorado on Nov. 10 of last year.