Jan 29, 2013; Ottawa, ON, CAN; Washington Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth (30) makes a save on a shot from Ottawa Senators centre Mika Zibanejad (93) in the third period at Scotiabank Place. The Senators defeated the Capitals 3-2 Mandatory Credit: Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports

Game #43 Preview – Washington Capitals At Ottawa Senators

The Ottawa Senators will continue their home stand after returning from a lengthy road trip due to the women’s World Hockey Championship. The Sens and the Capitals will both try to end each others winning steaks, Ottawa’s at three and the Caps is a little more significant at eight.

24-17-2, 3rd Eastern Conference, L10 9-0-1

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22-14-6, 6th Eastern Conference, L10 5-5-0

Puck Drop: 7:30 PM

TV: Rogers Sportsnet East   Radio: Team 1200

HEAD TO HEAD

These two clubs have only faced each other once thus far but will play twice in a week to wrap up the regular season. The last time we seen a Sens-Caps match-up was the very first game the Senators played without Jason Spezza, to which ended up being a lengthy time off due to back surgery. This also marked as Mika Zibanejad‘s first game this season, in which ended up being a pretty solid season for him to this point. He was the first star of the game and he deserved it as he was all over the ice and was creating havoc with his speed. This game was back and forth as both teams scored back to back goals but it was Sergei Gonchar who was the hero in this one, scoring a late power play goal to give the Sens the one goal advantage. that is how the game ended, the Senators finishing with the 3-2 regulation victory.

LAST GAMES

After hing their game reschedule due to that terrible bombing in Boston, the Ottawa Senators flew back home to host the Carolina Hurricanes. The home team prevailed in what ended up being a 3-2 win for the Sens. Jared Cowen made his season debut with a bang and Ottawa got scoring from Zibanejad, Milan Michalek and the game winner went to Chris Neil.

As for the Capitals they hosted The Senators rival, the Toronto Maple Leafs. The home team continued their hot streak as the routed the Leafs 5-1. Alex Ovechkin and many of his teammates finished with multi-point nights.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Jared Cowen, OTT – Cowen came back with a great game, he was a presence on the ice and will really have an impact on the team as the season wraps up. Look for him to shut down the Caps as he and the Sens will try and snap that long winning streak the Caps own.

Alex Ovechkin, WSH – He always seems to play well against the Sens and has really turned it on this season after receiving a lot of negativity from fans and the press, he seems to be more focused and that could be dangerous for opposing teams.

STORYLINES

  1. Playoffs – Both teams are trying to lock in a spot in the post season and both are on a winning streak and would like it to continue, this might be a playoff match-up also. Look for this to be a “playoff” type atmosphere.
  2. Injuries – The return of injured Sens has made the team better and continues to have an impact. We should see some more of that Cowen physical play plus the Michalek speed, that should only help the Senators at this point. Also from what we continue to hear we aren’t far away from some more help!
  3. 2 in 7 – As mentioned above this has potential to be a series we see very soon in the playoffs and we get to see 2 games in a week. We may get a preview of what to expect come the end of April…. or early May.

PARTING SHOT

You can’t help but get excited when the playoffs are getting close, but the fact that we get to the 2 Sens/Caps games before the playoffs begin is great. this is the most likely match-up we will see, doesn’t mean we will but it is likely and that is exciting! Ottawa cannot take this tea lightly though. they may not have looked strong at the beginning of the year but their rookie head coach, Adam Oates has team playing extremely well of late.

Tags: Alex Ovechkin Jared Cowen NHL Ottawa Senators Playoffs Washington Capitals

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