The Ottawa Senators will try to rebound from consecutive losses when they welcome the Washington Capitals to the Canadian Tire Centre tonight. As you may have heard, the Sens’ last game ended in....controversial fashion. The match-up with the Caps, Ottawa’s last home game before kicking off a three game road trip, won’t prove much of a relief. At the same time, if Ottawa is serious about making a run for the play-offs this year, playing Washington is exactly the type of measuring stick they should be looking for.
Based on DJ Smith’s media availability yesterday, here’s my best guess at how the Sens will line them up for tonight’s game:
Stützle - Paul - C. Brown
Formenton - Tierney - Ennis
Sanford - Shaw - Sabourin
Chabot - Zub
Holden - Zaitsev
Mete - J. Brown
Forsberg (starter) Gustavsson
- At some point, the Capitals are going to fall off: several of their best players are decisively on the wrong side of 30, and their defense corps leaves a lot to be desired. And yet. Washington’s 3-0-2 for 8 points in their first five games, Ovechkin has ten points, and their (early) underlying numbers paint them as a real contender — again. Death, taxes, and a good Capitals team.
- Without re-visiting the specifics of Saturday’s painful affair, Ottawa should be taking a lot of positives from their performance. They were clearly the better team for the vast majority of the game. As the season progresses, the breaks will come if they maintain that level of play.
- It seems Matt Murray’s injury is at least somewhat severe as he’s been placed on IR; another bad break for a guy who hasn’t had much injury luck in recent years.
- One area where Washington has struggled, at least relative to their usual dominance, is on the power play. Meanwhile, the Sens’ penalty kill hasn’t exactly been up to snuff so something’s gotta give on that front.
|Penalty Kill %||76.5||22nd||71.4||27th|
|Corsi % (5v5 SVA)||50.19||17th||53.76||9th|
|xGF % (5v5 SVA)||51.56||14th||55.96||5th|
|Goals||Chris Tierney||3||Alex Ovechkin||5|
|Assists||Connor Brown||4||Tom Wilson||6|
|Points||Connor Brown||4||Alex Ovechkin||10|
|Shots||Nick Paul||16||Alex Ovechkin||20|
|Time on Ice/GP||Thomas Chabot||26:54||John Carlson||23:13|