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Game 46 preview: Washington Capitals @ Ottawa Senators

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A preview of the game between the Ottawa Senators and the Washington Capitals on 24 January 2017.

Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

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

Condon (starter)
Driedger

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.

Category Ottawa Washington
Player # Player #
Goals Kyle Turris 17 Alex Ovechkin 22
Assists Erik Karlsson 32

Nicklas Backstrom

34
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

Category

Ottawa Washington
# Rank # Rank
Goals For 2.62 19th 3.28 4th
Goals Against 2.64 13th 2.06 1st
Zone, Score and venue adjusted Corsi % 47.20% 26th 53.05% 3rd
Event, Score and venue adjusted Fenwick % 47.60% 24th 52.37% 4th
Shots For 28.8 25th 29.7 16th
Shots Against 30.4 19th 28.0 6th