Game 51 Preview and Open Thread: Washington Capitals @ Ottawa Senators

Sens play host to the league’s premier team

The Washington Capitals roll into Ottawa to face the Sens in a Friday night tilt. The Sens are coming off one of their better performances of the year after they defeated the Buffalo Sabres 5-2 on the second night of a back-to-back. It was an encouraging outing in a season that’s been a struggle at times. Washington, meanwhile, are perched atop the league’s standings and are firing on all cylinders. If the Stanley Cup play-offs were to start today, Washington would have to be considered one of the favourites.

Here’s how DJ Smith had the Sens line up on Tuesday:



Anderson (starter)

Game Notes:

  • Christian Wolanin took part in a full practice on Thursday, so he is at the very least getting close to a return. No word on who would come out of the line-up should he make his season debut.
  • Marcus Hogberg was sensational in Monday’s shoot-out loss to the New Jersey Devils, but Craig Anderson did earn the win on Tuesday so I’d say there’s at least a decent chance Andy is back in net tonight
  • The Sens’ power play is officially cooking. After tallying three (!) times on Tuesday, Ottawa were briefly no longer the league’s worst with the man advantage. They’re in a real four team battle at the bottom with Anaheim, New Jersey, and Detroit.
  • Alex Ovechkin is an unstoppable goal-scoring machine, and he has a decent chance to get to 6th all-time before the season is out. For my money, once you take into account the era in which he played, he’s the greatest scorer of all-time.
  • If there’s one cloud hanging over the Caps, it’s been the poor play of Braden Holtby. Holtby has a shocking .896 SV% in all situations and the advanced goalie metrics don’t paint a pretty picture either. Ilya Samsonov, who will start tonight, has been outstanding when given the chance to play. Is there a goaltending controversy brewing in Washington?
  • Smith was quoted earlier in the week as saying tonight’s game against Washington and the Toronto Maple Leafs will be a good test for his young team. Certainly Washington’s sustained excellence is a model the Sens should aspire to.
  • Puck drop is set for 7:30 and you can catch all the action on TSN5 or RDS./

Here are tonight’s pregame stats, courtesy of and Natural Stat Trick:

Player Stats

OttawaSenatorsLos AngelesKings
GoalsAnthony Duclair23Anze Kopitar21
AssistsThomas Chabot33Anze Kopitar41
PointsBrady Tkachuk43Anze Kopitar62
ShotsBrady Tkachuk258Jeff Carter182
TOI/GPThomas Chabot26:02Drew Doughty25:51

Team Stats

Goals against/GP3.3228th2.685th
Shots against/GP33.629th32.322nd
Powerplay %14.628th18.820th
Penalty Kill %78.820th82.87th
Corsi % (5v5, Score and Venue Adjusted)47.2327th48.0726th
Fenwick % (5v5, SVA)47.7127th48.1924th

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