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Game 28: Washington Capitals @ Ottawa Senators

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Washington Capitals
@ Ottawa Senators

Wednesday, Dec 7, 2011, 7:00 PM EST
Scotiabank Place

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The Ottawa Senators will look to consolidate their position in the top eight of the eastern conference when they host the 11th seeded Washington Capitals. The two clubs met four days earlier in Washington, with the Capitals coming out on top in overtime.

The Senators will go with the same lines and pairings as last time, and are as follows:

Colin Greening - Jason Spezza - Bobby Butler
Milan Michalek - Nick Foligno - Daniel Alfredsson
Kaspars Daugavins - Zack Smith - Erik Condra
Zenon Konopka - Jesse Winchester - Chris Neil

Jared Cowen - Erik Karlsson
Chris Phillips - Sergei Gonchar
Brian Lee - David Rundblad

Craig Anderson (starter)
Alex Auld

It hasn't been a good day in sports for me, so hopefully Ottawa can help fix that. Join us for all the fun! Remember it is a TSN game and is thus an early 7:00 p.m. start.

Talking points and statistics after the jump.

Here are my talking points for tonight:

  • Karlsson/Cowen against top line: Erik Karlsson has played Alexander Ovechkin well so far and tonight he will have to deal with a line of Ovechkin, Backstrom and Semin. Can Karlsson (and Cowen) keep the Washington stars under wraps again?
  • Greening and Butler: Bobby Butler and Colin Greening have remained on the top line despite failing to produce. In the last game, Paul MacLean switched up the lines briefly in the third. Will he do so again?
  • Smith surging: Zack Smith has been playing excellent hockey tonight, but we can't expect our third line centre to keep this up indefinitely. Will it continue tonight? The Senators have last change, so will they match him up against Ovechkin's line?
  • Chris Neil: Neil hasn't been a factor in his first two games back from injury and has seen limited ice time. With Smith, Condra and Daugavins doing so well, there hasn't been a room for him on the third line.
Here are the 2011-2012 comparative statistics for the Senators and the Capitals:
Category Ottawa Enemy - Washington
Value Rank Value Rank
Goals For per game 2.96 7th 3.00 6th
Goals Against per game 3.33 29th 3.19 26th
5 on 5 GF/GA ratio 0.87 23rd 0.96 18th
Shots for per game 30.2 14th 29.9 17th
Shots against per game 31.4 22nd 30.1 13th
Power play % 19.1 10th 14.7 23rd
Penalty kill % 80.7 21st 79.8 24th
Category Ottawa Enemy - Washington
Player Value Player Value
Points Jason Spezza 25 Nicklas Backstrom 27
Goals Milan Michalek 16 Jason Chimera 11
Assists Erik Karlsson 21 Nicklas Backstrom 18
PP Points Erik Karlsson 10 Nicklas Backstrom 12
Shots Erik Karlsson 86 Alexander Ovechkin 89
Hits Nick Foligno 80 Troy Brouwer 94
Avg. Ice time Erik Karlsson 25:20 Dennis Wideman 23:16
Face-offs % Zenon Konopka 59.2 Jeff Halpern 62.3