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Game 34 Preview + Open Thread: Ottawa Senators @ Washington Capitals

Ottawa faces off in the other nation’s capital looking to avoid a 3-game losing streak

NHL: OCT 25 Capitals at Senators Photo by Steven Kingsman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Ottawa Senators almost completed an incredible comeback on Thursday against the Pittsburgh Penguins, which would’ve been their second great comeback in less than a week. However, after the 6-4 loss, they have now lost back-to-back games and are looking to stop the skid while they visit the Washington Capitals.

The last time the Senators played the Capitals, Drake Batherson got his first career hat-trick, yet they still lost a wild 7-5 game in October. Since then, the Capitals have been in a playoff spot with 53 points in 41 games, although they are 4th in the Metropolitan (and therefore a wildcard position). They aren’t the same team from years past, but Alex Ovechkin is somehow just as good as ever (and maybe even better??), so they’re not a team to take lightly.

Here are the lines for tonight (same as on Thursday, the only difference is Matt Murray will start and Anton Forsberg will back him up):

Vitek Vanecek gets the start for Washington.

Game Notes:

  • It appears that Erik Brännström has finally earned the trust of DJ Smith:

He played 23:28 on Thursday, the second-most of his career, and it’ll be interesting to see if that trend continues.

  • I wonder if Brännström will ever get moved to the right side again briefly in the game, as he did play with Thomas Chabot at points on Thursday. It’s something to monitor.
  • Ovechkin leads the league with 56 points in 41 games. He’s on pace for a whopping 112 points as a 36-year-old.
  • Can Alex Formenton continue his hot streak? He has 11 points in his last 12 games.
  • Ottawa is 41-48-5-5 all-time against the Capitals and only 13-20-3-3 in Washington.
  • Vitek Vanecek has never faced the Senators and has a .909 SV% on the season (.908% career).
  • The Tkachuk/Norris/Batherson line continues to be incredibly productive, and don’t look for them to slow down anytime soon.

Team Stats:

Team Stats

Game 38 Ottawa Senators Anaheim Ducks
Game 38 Ottawa Senators Anaheim Ducks
Category # Rank # Rank
Goals/GP 2.81 21st 2.93 17th
Goals Against/GP 3.43 27th 2.83 15th
Shots/GP 30.2 20th 30.5 18th
Shots Against/GP 33.6 27th 33.1 26th
Powerplay % 18.5 20th 25.4 8th
Penalty Kill % 80.3 16th 83.0 9th
Corsi % (5v5 SVA) 46.34 30th 48.29 20th
xGF % (5v5 SVA) 46.44 24th 47.67 22nd

Player Stats:

Player Stats

Game 42 Ottawa Senators Carolina Hurricanes
Game 42 Ottawa Senators Carolina Hurricanes
Category Player # Player #
Goals Josh Norris 18 Sebastian Aho 19
Assists Drake Batherson 21 Sebastian Aho 26
Points Drake Batherson 34 Sebastian Aho 45
Shots Brady Tkachuk 133 Andrei Svechnikov 130
Time on Ice/GP Thomas Chabot 27:08:00 Jaccob Slavin 23:51:00