After a disappointing loss on Sunday in Carolina, the Ottawa Senators travel to Washington hoping a game against the Capital will help them get things back on track.
The Washington Capitals have struggled a little bit as of late, dropping their last three games. Despite the mini-losing streak, the Caps still hold down the 7th spot in the Eastern Conference with 26 points. The Senators currently trail the Caps by just four points. Save to say it’s a big two points on the line tonight. As it has been for the past few seasons, the Capitals offence is led by Russian superstar Alex Ovechkin. His 20 goals in just 22 games leads the entire National Hockey League. He also has a significant lead in the shot category, registering 123 shots. Anderson and the Ottawa defence will have to be at their absolute best to contain him tonight.
Special teams are always important and that will be no different tonight as the Senators attempt to contain the league’s 3rd ranked power play. The Senators currently sit 19th on the penalty kill and have to find a way to contain the Washington power play. Best way to do that is to stay out of the box.
Jared Cowen, who is off to a disappointing start this season, will have his hands full against the Caps. With the last change, Adam Oates will be able to get the line up matches he wants and I suspect he’ll be looking to get Alex Ovechkin out against Cowen whenever possible. Should be a good test for Cowen and perhaps one that gets him going a little bit. If he continues to struggle, it’s hard to imagine he won’t find his way into the press box at some point.
Paul MacLean will make a change on the blueline this evening. Mark Borowiecki is healthy and ready to play but with the team playing back to back games, the Coach has decided to insert Joe Corvo into the line. Same combinations up front.
Craig Anderson gets the start in the Ottawa goal after Robin Lehner went 1-1 in consecutive starts over the weekend. Puck drop is scheduled for just after 7:00 PM in Washington. The Senators will fly home after the game and take on the Vancouver Canucks at the Canadian Tire Centre tomorrow night.
The Daily Chirp- Darren Dreger addressed the rumours between the Senators and Rangers yesterday and suggested that there probably isn’t a fit between the two teams. While there is no doubt the Sens would love to add Del Zotto, their offer of Erik Condra, Colin Greening and Eric Gryba not surprisingly, wasn’t enough for the Rangers. If the rumoured offer is true, it gives you a pretty good indication that Murray needs to make sure money is going out if there is going to be a contract coming in. Tricky little spot Mr. Murray is in. The team would love to add a defenceman but need to do something with the eight they have on the roster right now.