Tip: Colorado Avalanche regains key player as Washington Capitals visit!
Despite injury issues, the Avalanche has performed strongly, recently routing the Philadelphia Flyers 7-4. That game was on January 20, giving Colorado ample rest before tonight's match against the Washington Capitals. With the return of key players to the lineup, I believe the task awaiting the Capitals might be too daunting.
Artturi Lehkonen and Bowen Byram
After a nasty collision with the boards in November, Lehkonen has been missing from Colorado's lineup. But now, it seems the crucial forward will return tonight against the Capitals. He is expected to join the third line alongside Ryan Johansen and Andrew Cogliano. Defenseman Bowen Byram, absent since January 4, is also anticipated to return. Both players are vital for Colorado, offering offensive flair and solid defensive skills. Lehkonen, in particular, is incredibly useful for the Avalanche with his strengths at both ends of the ice.
Despite injuries and recently missing Nichushkin, Colorado remains one of the league's most feared teams. The offensive prowess maintained by Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Cale Makar has been relentless. As a result, the Avalanche currently leads the league in goals after 47 games. This pace is unlikely to slow with Lehkonen and Byram back. At home, Colorado is nearly unbeatable. So far, they've managed 18 wins in 23 games, 16 in regular time. The Capitals will certainly have their hands full.
Charlie Lindgren the Only Hope
It might be a bit unfair, but if the Capitals are to dream of points, it will likely require a magical performance from Lindgren. As I've mentioned before, Lindgren is currently Washington's most crucial player. The goalie has been one of the league's best, but facing the league's most effective offense back-to-back, I suspect it won't be enough.
Last night, Washington lost 5-3 away to Minnesota Wild. No disgrace there, as Wild has been playing well, and Capitals have struggled on the road. Before this, they faced St. Louis Blues and lost 3-0, being shut out. The team has its bright spots, but with Alexander Ovechkin not scoring as often, Capitals have struggled, except when Lindgren wins games for them. Only the San Jose Sharks and Chicago Blackhawks have scored fewer goals this season.
Betting Tips and Conclusion
Wednesday 00:00, NHL
No game in the NHL is easy, but it's hard not to see everything favoring Colorado. The defense and goaltending have been criticized, but the scoring has compensated. With the return of key players who can contribute both offensively and defensively, my confidence in Colorado solving the task against a Washington Capitals team that played just yesterday is strengthened. I'm not overly fond of NHL minus lines, but for those who are, taking -1.5 in this match seems okay. However, I'm content with the straight play.
Colorado Avalanche FT @ -145 to be played at bet365!
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