The Ottawa Senators will look to keep their strong run of results going when they play the Washington Capitals for the third time in 24 days. Ottawa had its three game winning streak snap in Sunday 7-6 overtime loss to Lumbus but are now 5-1-1 in their last seven games. Their opponents are on an even better run going 12-0-2 in their 14 games. That run also includes being 12-0-1 in the last 13 games with the one overtime loss being an 8-7 loss in a game they led 3-0.
If things weren't tough enough, Ottawa could be without star forward Mike Hoffman who is sick and will be a game time decision. Casey Bailey will play for Ottawa if Hoffman can't go. Here are the likely lines for Ottawa:
Smith - Brassard - Stone
Dzingel - Turris - Ryan
Hoffman/Bailey - Pageau - Pyatt
Kelly - Lazar - Neil
Methot - Karlsson
Phaneuf - Ceci
Claesson - Wideman
Some notes for tonight:
- Erik Karlsson is now on a six game points streak with seven assists in that span.
- If the Senators are without Hoffman tonight, that would be a huge loss. He has seven goals in the last seven games.
- The Zack Smith deal is fair market value for his last season and a half, but it would have been nice if they tried to trade him for some nice futures, take a calculated risk on someone cheaper in the summer and then improve elsewhere. With the payroll being where it is, the Senators have to take risks to compete for a title.
- That loss to Lumbus was just bizarre. Having leads of 1-0, 2-1 and 5-3 as well as deficits of 3-2 and 6-5, it was probably a good result to get a point from their fourth game in six nights.
- Ottawa has done an excellent job through a very tough part of the schedule. They will play Calgary on Thursday before a break until next week. Things get easier after that, with 18 of their first 21 games after the All-Star break being against teams currently outside the playoff picture.
- Mike Condon's save percentage dropped to 91.4% after Sunday.
- Derick Brassard is second on the team behind Hoffman with 110 shots but has just eight goals to show for it.
- Do the Capitals have any weaknesses? They have an elite goalie, they are among the league leaders for shots allowed, and they have a bucket load of offensive talent that can score.
- The Senators much maligned power play is now up to 17th in conversion rate. That's bordering on average!
Here are some stats for the two teams tonight. All stats are from NHL.com except Corsi and Fenwick are from Corsica.
|Goals||Kyle Turris||17||Alex Ovechkin||22|
|Points||Erik Karlsson||39||Nicklas Backstrom||47|
|Shots||Mike Hoffman||124||Alex Ovechkin||177|
|Average Ice time||Erik Karlsson||27:01||John Carlson||22:53|
|Zone, Score and venue adjusted Corsi %||47.20%||26th||53.05%||3rd|
|Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick %||47.60%||24th||52.37%||4th|