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Game 43 Preview and Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Washington Capitals

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The Sens visit the league leaders.

Ottawa Senators v Washington Capitals Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images

Searching for their first win of the new year, the Ottawa Senators will have a tough test tonight, when they visit the league-leading Washington Capitals.

Both Anthony Duclair and Dylan DeMelo could return to the lineup, tonight, having taken first line rushes at practice yesterday. Duclair missed his first contest of the season on Saturday, banged up after blocking a shot, while DeMelo has been out since December 11th with a broken finger.

If they can’t go, expect one of Scott Sabourin/Mikkel Boedker, or Andreas Englund to draw in.

Craig Anderson starts, and Ottawa’s lines should look something like this:

Tkachuk - Pageau - Duclair
Paul - White - Batherson
Ennis - Tierney - C. Brown
Namestnikov - Anisimov - Balcers

Chabot - DeMelo
Borowiecki - Jaros
Reilly - Goloubef

Anderson (starter)
Hogberg

Game Notes:

  • Drake Batherson was awesome against the Tampa Bay Lightning. He moved the puck with skill and confidence, looking like a completely different player than the one we saw at the start of the season. He has a good chance to stake his claim to a full-time job, still playing in the top six, with two of Ottawa’s stronger possession forwards.
  • Getting Duclair back would give the Sens some hope tonight. The Capitals score a lot of goals, and with Ottawa not exactly one of the league’s stronger defensive teams, they’ll need to score a lot of goals too.
  • On top of that, the Senators back end has been struggling due to their lack of depth, and Dylan DeMelo’s return would provide some much-needed reinforcements. Washington scores a lot of goals, and has some relentless forecheckers, so the Sens can expect to spend a lot of time in their own end tonight.
  • The Caps are led by John Carlson, who is having a Norris-worthy season so far. Pierre McGuire thinks he could hit 100 points, and while I don’t know about all that, Ottawa will need to hit him hard and often on the forecheck, and play tight to his point to have success tonight.
  • It’s a 7:00pmET start tonight, and you can catch it on TSN5, RDS2, as well as NBCS Washington. Dean Brown and Gord Wilson have the call on TSNRadio 1200.

As always, here are some stats. Courtesy of NHL.com and Natural Stat Trick:

Player Stats

Ottawa Senators Calgary Flames
Ottawa Senators Calgary Flames
Category Player # Player #
Goals Anthony Duclair 21 Elias Lindholm 20
Assists Thomas Chabot 23 Johnny Gaudreau 25
Points Anthony Duclair 32 Matthew Tkachuk, Johnny Gaudreau 38
Shots Brady Tkachuk 167 Johnny Gaudreau 141
Time On Ice Thomas Chabot 26:34 Mark Giordano 24:11

Team Stats

Ottawa Senators Los Angeles Kings
Ottawa Senators Los Angeles Kings
# Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.69 24th 2.52 30th
Goals against/GP 3.36 30th 3.00 14th
Shots/GP 30.7 21st 33.1 5th
Shots against/GP 33.5 29th 29.8 6th
Powerplay % 14.3 31st 16.9 26th
Penalty Kill % 76.1 26th 77.1 26th
Corsi % (5v5, Score and Venue Adjusted) 48.25 26th 53.13 4th
xGF% (5v5, SVA) 49.74 19th 51.94 8th