Colorado +180 at Washington O/U 5.5
The Colorado Avalanche look to stay perfect as they head to Washington to take on the Capitals. The Avs are coming off a 4-3 overtime win over defending Stanley Cup champions Pittsburgh thanks to a late goal by Gabriel Landeskog to send the contest to an extra frame, and another score to win it less than 90 seconds into OT. The Capitals have split their first two games on the year, losing to the aforementioned Penguins in a shootout and defeating the New York Islanders on Saturday in a tight 2-1 battle backed by a strong performance by goaltender Braden Holtby. The reigning Vezina Trophy winner has picked right up where he left off last year, stopping 49 of the 52 shots he's faced in his pair of starts.
Under new coach Jared Bednar, the Avalanche aren't trying to do more than they are capable of. When Patrick Roy was the bench boss, Colorado was looking to play very fast at both ends of the ice, and their defense just simply wasn't up to the task over the previous couple of seasons. Nowadays, the Avs still play up-tempo at times, but they know when to dial it back, especially against stronger clubs like one they are facing tonight. The Capitals are expected to start back-up netminder Philipp Grubauer in net. The German native is 15-15-6 in his career and has never faced Colorado. Former Caps starter Semyon Varlamov will be between the pipes for the Avs, where he boasts a 2-2 record with a 1.78 GAA against Washington. At what is a quite generous price here, I'm backing a very live underdog.