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Ovechkin wants to break Fedorov's record tonight

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Ovechkin wants to break Fedorov's record tonight

The other day, Russia’s all-time leading goal scorer and incoming Hockey Hall of Famer Sergei Fedorov made a long-distance request to Alex Ovechkin, asking him to wait until Tuesday night when the Caps are in Detroit, to pass his record.

Ovechkin, who is two goals away from overtaking Fedorov (483 NHL goals) as the leading Russian goal scorer in NHL history, responded on Saturday morning.

“My plan is to get three tonight, so we’ll see,” said Ovechkin, who has not recorded a hat trick since Dec. 10, 2013 when he scored four goals in a comeback win over the Tampa Bay Lightning.

“It’s going to be a huge honor, obviously, to pass all the great names in Russian hockey and be No. 1. It’s huge.”

What amazes Capitals coach Barry Trotz is how quickly Ovechkin has climbed Russia’s mountain of goal scorers, one which includes Alexander Mogilny (473), Pavel Bure (437), Alexei Kovalev (430) and Ilya Kovalchuk (417).

It took Fedorov 1,248 games to score 483 NHL goals. Ovechkin has scored 482 goals in 771 games.

“Any time you pass a great player that’s got to be pretty fulfilling,” Trotz said, “but I was looking at the number of games he’s doing it at and it’s crazy that he’s hundreds of games ahead of one of the greatest players who is going into the Hall of Fame (on Monday).

“That’s pretty outstanding and he’s doing it in an era where it’s harder to score. When I see those numbers that’s what blows me away. Knowing how great Sergei was as a player, that’s pretty outstanding.”

Ironically, Ovechkin is approaching Fedorov’s record without the benefit of a power play goal this season. Entering tonight’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Verizon Center (7 p.m., CSN) all seven of his goals this season have come at even strength. After leading the NHL in power-play goals in each of his last three seasons, Ovechkin has failed to score on 15 power-play shots and he has just one power-play assist.

The Caps’ eight power play goals have come from John Carlson (2), T.J. Oshie (2), Nicklas Backstrom (1), Evgeny Kuznetsov (1), Marcus Johansson (1) and Matt Niskanen (1).

“Obviously, we have so many options out there and we have to find the one that’s going to work,” he said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s me or Carly or Osh or Niskanen or whatever. We just have to find the right one and put it in.”

Trotz said the attention Ovechkin draws on the power play is a weapon in itself.

“They always have someone standing next to him and everyone else benefits from him,” Trotz said. “Unselfishly, he’ll stand further away from the net to draw someone away from someone else.

“He doesn’t get frustrated with it, he just gets frustrated if he gets a good look and misses the net or has a goalie down and he doesn’t execute. He’ll take all the shadowing so other people score. Just watch when we score. He’s just as excited if Oshie or Backy scores than if he scores. He doesn’t really care.” 

MORE CAPITALS: Capitals prepare to face lowly Maple Leafs

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4 things to know for the Capitals’ matchup against undefeated Colorado

4 things to know for the Capitals’ matchup against undefeated Colorado

The Capitals (3-1-2) snapped a three-game losing streak on Saturday and will look to stay in the win column on Monday in a game against the Colorado Avalanche (4-0-0). You can catch all the action on NBC Sports Washington with Caps FaceOff Live kicking things off at 4 p.m. before Caps Pregame Live begins at 4:30 p.m. to bring you up to the 5 p.m. puck drop. Stick with NBC Sports Washington afterward for Caps Postgame Live, D.C. Sports Live and Caps Overtime Live.

Here are four things to know for Saturday’s game.

Colorado is undefeated

The Avalanche is one of two teams left in the NHL that has not suffered a loss of any kind. Of their four wins, only one of them was not in regulation and that also happened to be the only game Philipp Grubauer did not play in net.

All four wins also happen to be at home as Monday’s game will be Colorado’s first on the road this season.

Washington will face former Caps Andre Burakovsky and Philipp Grubauer

Things seem to be going well in Burakovsky’s first season with the Avalanche. The winger has two goals and two assists in four games and has scored the game-winner in each of the past two games.

Burakovsky was a restricted free agent in the offseason and his contract carried a large qualifying offer which the Caps could not afford. The team traded his rights to  Colorado for a second and a third-round draft pick as well as a prospect on an expiring contract.

In net, Grubauer enters his second season with Colorado and first as the undisputed starter of the team. He earned the job after last year’s playoff performance in which he won seven games, posted a .925 save percentage and brought the Avalanche to within one win of advancing to the conference final.

In three games this season, Grubauer is 3-0-0 with a .931 save percentage.

The best line in hockey?

Colorado boasts one of the top lines, if not the outright best line in hockey with Gabriel Landeskog, Nathan MacKinnon and Mikko Rantanen. All three players have had their fair share of success against Washington in their careers.

Landeskog has scored 14 points in just 13 games against the Caps, MacKinnon has 13 points in 11 games and Rantanen has seven points in five games.

The Caps have historically been a difficult matchup for Colorado

Washington’s last three games were against the Dallas Stars (twice) and the Nashville Predators, two teams the Caps have not fared well against historically. The roles are reversed for Monday’s game as this time it's the Caps who have been the thorn in the side of their opponent.

Colorado has lost nine of its last 10 meetings with Washington with its last win coming back on Nov. 16, 2017. The last win before was four years prior in November 2013.

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How to watch Capitals vs. Avalanche: Time, TV channel, live stream

How to watch Capitals vs. Avalanche: Time, TV channel, live stream

The Washington Capitals bounced back from a disappointing loss to the Nashville Predators, where they gave up four leads in a 6-5 contest, with a commanding 4-1 win against the Dallas Stars on Saturday night to end a three-game losing skid. Now, they welcome the Colarado Avalanche to town Monday night. 

The Avalanche have gotten off to a perfect 4-0 start this season, a record which was preserved in a 3-2 overtime win against the Arizona Coyotes on Saturday night. Ex-Capitals left winger Andre Burakovsky netted the game-winner while goaltender Pavel Francouz stopped 34 of 36 shots. 

Washington's John Carlson notched a goal and an assist while Evgeny Kuznetsov scored his second goal of the year in the win against Dallas, while Ilya Samsonov impressed in his second career start in net. He's now stopped 49 of the first 51 shots faced in his young NHL career. The Caps will look for their key contributors to perform against the undefeated visitors.

Here's everything you need to know about Monday evening's game, with the opening face-off coming at 5:00 p.m. live on NBC Sports Washington.  

Capitals vs. Avalanche: How to watch

What: Washington Capitals vs. Colarado Avalanche, Game 7 of the 2019-20 NHL Regular Season

Where: Capital One Arena, Washington D.C. 

When: Monday, Oct. 14, 2019 at 5:00 p.m. ET

TV Channel: The Capitals vs. Avalanche game will be broadcast on NBC Sports Washington (NBC Sports channel finder)

Live Stream: You can live stream Capitals at Predators on NBC Sports Washington's live stream page.

RadioCaps 24/7 Radio

CAPITALS vs. AVALANCHE TV SCHEDULE

4:00 PM: Caps FaceOff Live

4:30 PM: Caps Pregame Live

5:00 PM: Avalanche @ Capitals Live

7:30 PM: Caps Postgame Live

8:00 PM: D.C. Sports Live

8:30 PM: Caps Overtime Live

Capitals vs. Avalanche Injury Report

Capitals: D Michal Kempny, hamstring injury, day-to-day

Avalanche: C J.T. Compher, lower body, day-to-day; D Ian Cole, hamstring, day-to-day

CAPITALS vs. Avalanche PLAYERS TO WATCH:

Michal Kempny, D, Washington Capitals: The defender could make his season debut as he recovers from a hamstring injury. He felt good after an optional practice on Sunday and said if he doesn't play Monday, he'll be back soon enough. His return will bring a boost to the defensive backline for the Caps. 

John Carlson, D, Washington Capitals (2 G, 8 A, 10 Pts): Carlson has been quite the provider from up top on offense, leading the NHL in assists along with points leader Connor McDavid of the Edmonton Oilers. Nobody else has more than four assists on the Capitals. 

Andre Burakovsky, LW, Colarado Avalanche (2 G, 2 A, 4 Pts): Burakovsky not only scored the game-winner Saturday night against Arizona, but also nothed an assist and had four shots on goal. After spending his first five seasons in the nation's capital, the Avalanche traded second and third-round picks in the 2020 NHL Draft and forward Scott Kosmachuk for his services in June. 

CAPITALS vs. AVALANCHE SERIES HISTORY 

Number of meetings: 85

All-time series record: Caps lead 44-32-9

Last meeting: Caps won 4-3 (OT) (4/7/19)

Last 10: Caps lead 9-1

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