Game Preview: Ottawa Senators vs. Washington Capitals

Wednesday December 7th, 2011

7:00pm

TSN, RDS2, Team 1200

8th East (13-11-3) VS. 11th East (13-12-1)

The Senators face-off against the Washington Capitals tonight for the third time already this season, the first two both being one-goal losses for the Sens. The most recent was a 3-2 Overtime victory for the Capitals, who ended the extra period within seconds of it starting. The Senators were able to at least get the one point, and are hoping that this time with home-ice advantage for the first time in this four game series, they will be able to get two points and the win. The Senators come into this game after a strong 4-2 win over the Tampa Bay Lightning just two days ago. The Senators didn’t give in to the trap and with a strong 3 period push – three Sens goals came in the last 13 minutes of the game – they we’re able to come from behind once again.

Washington on the other hand is coming off a 5-4 loss to the Florida Panthers. Alexander Ovechkin is continuing to struggle and has definitely not been having the bounce-back season many were hoping for. Ovechkin only has 19 points so far this season, good for 64th in the league. In an effort to get the Russian winger going, it seems he has been re-united with Alex Semin on a line centered by Nicklas Backstrom. This will certainly be a challenging task for the Sens defense and goaltender Craig Anderson who will be back in net once again.

Filip Kuba was placed on injured reserve today after suffering a shoulder injury in the game versus the Winnipeg Jets and will be out 3-4 weeks. Peter Regin, who is also out with a shoulder injury, is making progress and still expected to return mid-Decemeber. Nikita Filatov will be the healthy scratch for the third straight game, a decision that is bringing up lots of talk among Sens fans.

For Washington, Defenseman Roman Hamrlik and Winger Matt Hendricks are both out with lower-body injuries. Tomas Vokoun is expected to get the start in goal.

PLAYERS TO WATCH:

ERIK KARLSSON, D (OTT) – Nobody ever doubted Karlsson’s offensive game, but some have been skeptical of his play in his own end. As of late, Karlsson seems to have been doing a good job to quiet those people as he has been doing a great job shutting down opposing teams top players. With the Ovechkin/Backstrom/Semin line potentially coming together tonight, the young blue-liner will be very busy. Karlsson also got a goal in the last match-up between these two teams, and is also interesting to watch, especially in the offensive zone.

JASON CHIMERA, C (WAS) – Chimera has been quietly putting together a great season. He leads the team in goals, outscoring the likes of Ovechkin, Semin and Backstrom, and he is third in points.

Here’s the projected Sens line-up:

Forwards:

Greening – Spezza – Butler
Michalek – Foligno – Alfredsson
Daugavins – Smith – Condra
Konopka – Winchester – Neil

Defence:

Phillips – Gonchar
Karlsson – Cowen
Rundblad – Lee

Goaltenders:

Anderson
Auld

It should be an interesting game and hopefully with the home ice advantage and crowd at Scotiabnk Place, the Senators will finally be able to overcome the Washington Capitals.

Check back here after the game for SenShot’s full game recap. Until then, GO SENS GO!!

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Tags: Alex Ovechkin Anderson Backstrom Chimera Erik Karlsson Game Day Game Preview Kuba NHL Nikita Folatov Ottawa Senators Semin Washington Capitals