Game Day: Ottawa Senators @ Washington Capitals

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Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

7:00 pm

CBC, Team 1200

8th East (12-11-2)@9th East (12-11-1)

The Ottawa Senators continue their road trip against the struggling Washington Capitals. The Sens are coming off a 3-2 loss to the Dallas Stars in which they gave up a one goal lead with just over eight minutes left in the 3rd period.  The Caps on the other hand are still looking for their first win for new coach Dale Hunter, having gone 0-2 since his arrival. This is an important game for both teams which are only seperated by a single point. These two teams have faced off once before this season, a 2-1 loss for the Senators in Washington back on October 15th.

Washington is led in scoring by the Swede Nicklas Backstrom who has 26 points (8G 18A) on the season. Behind him is the GR8 Alex Ovechkin who stands at 18 points (8G 10A). Backup goaltender Michal Neuvirth will get the start for the Caps. He has struggled this season posting a 3.82 GAA along with a .868 SV%. He will be facing Ottawa’s Craig Anderson in nets.

For Ottawa, the only injured player remaining is Peter Regin (shoulder) who is still like several weeks away from playing. Matt Carkner has fully healed and is currently doing a conditioning stint in Binghamton. Paul MacLean has also confirmed that Chris Neil will play in tonight’s game, who he will be replacing is unknown at this point. My bet would be on Bobby Butler, but it wouldn’t surprise me if it was Zenon Konopka either. For Washington, all star defenceman Mike Green will be out of the lineup with a groin injury. Roman Hamrlik who has an undisclosed injury is a game time decision. Dale Hunter is also making his presence known tonight by scratching the healthy and underachieving Alexander Semin from tonight’s lineup (UPDATE: According to Elliotte Friedman, Semin is actually out with an upper body injury).

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Nikita Filatov, LW (OTT) – Filatov is still looking for his first point on the first line since his callup. He had several good chances in the game against Dallas, but was robbed on an attempted wraparound by Andrew Raycroft. If he doesn’t start producing soon he may very well find himself to be the odd man out when Chris Neil and Peter Regin return.

Alex Ovechkin, RW (WSH) – Ovechkin has definitely been struggling this season.  He has played 13 consecutive games without a multi-point performance (his last multi-point game was on Nov. 4 where he notched two assists against Carolina). With his talent it’s only a matter of time before he breaks out again.

 

THINGS TO LOOK OUT FOR

1. Lack of Powerplays – After only getting a single power play against Dallas (in which they should have definitely had more) you would have to think Bryan Murray will be watching the refereeing of tonight’s game closely.

2.  First Line Chemistry - The new first line of Nikita Filatov, Jason Spezza, and Colin Greening have yet to find any chemistry together. How long will Paul MacLean let this experiment run before mixing things up again?

3.  Captain’s Struggles - Daniel Alfredsson has not shown the same game he had before suffering a concussion from Wojtek Wolski. He only has four points in his last nine games since coming back from his concussion.

 

Be sure to check back here on SenShot for a complete recap after the game. GO SENS GO!!!

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