Game 25 Preview: Ottawa Senators @ Washington Capitals

After yet another disappointing loss on Sunday evening, the Senators look to turn things around. Again.

 

senators logo

 (9-11-4, 22 points) 6th Atlantic Division

VS

Washington-Capitals-Logo

(12-10-2, 26 points) 2nd Metropolitan Division

7:00 PM, Verizon Center

MATCHUP HISTORY

The Senators swept the 3 game series between the two teams last season, giving up only one point to the Capitals (two regulation wins, and one OT win). Kyle Turris scored 2 goals and an assist in the three games, and Erik Karlsson had 3 assists in 2 games, missing one with his injury.

 

Apr 25, 2013; Washington, DC, USA; Washington Capitals goalie Michal Neuvirth (30) is beaten by the is shot from Ottawa Senators defenseman Sergei Gonchar (not pictured) in overtime at Verizon Center. The Senators won 2-1 in overtime. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

LAST GAMES

The Senators are coming off of a 4-1 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday night. They were dominating for the first 10 minutes, then stopped skating for the final 50. The two days of rest should help them. The Capitals have had an even longer break, playing their last game on Saturday in a shootout loss to the Leafs.

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Erik Karlsson, OTT – He’s the team’s leading scorer, but is still having trouble in his own end. When it comes to playing offensively, nobody matches his skill, and he’s an absolute joy to watch. But when it comes to playing in front of his goalie, I would almost rather Jared Cowen be on the ice instead of him (somehow, Cowen is a +2). This doesn’t change the fact that he’s one of the most exciting players in the league, and all eyes will be on him during this game, just like every other.

Mikhail Grabovski, WAS – A familiar face to Senators fans, Grabovski spent 5 seasons with the Maple Leafs before they bought out his contract during the offseason. This season, he set out to prove that his bad season last year was a fluke, and he’s doing just that. He has 7 goals and 12 assists so far in 24 games. He’s on pace to beat his highest point total, and match his highest goal total.

 

TOP 3 STORYLINES

9-19-93 - The Senators’ new “Spezza Line” looked pretty good during the last game. Although, maybe that’s just because they were the only line that scored. But giving Zibanejad some more ice time, a different winger for Spezza to play with, and possibly finding some Zibanejad/Michalek chemistry is something that Senators fans have been wanting for a while.

Goalie Problems - I have a feeling that MacLean will put Craig Anderson in, despite the fact that Robin Lehner managed to have an alright game. He stopped 33 of 36 shots with no help from his defencemen. It’s starting to feel like the Luongo/Schneider controversy from Vancouver. Although this has nothing to do with both goalies playing well. It has everything to do with one of them having a big #1 written beside his name in all of MacLean’s books.

Get Back On Track - The Senators have lost 4 of their past 5 games, and the Capitals have lost 3 of their past 4. Both teams will be looking to put some wins together. It’s all about who wants it more.

 

PARTING SHOT

Normally, I would say if a team is struggling, then try to rebuild. But there’s a few reasons why that isn’t a good idea for the Senators. The main reason is because the Anaheim Ducks have their first round draft pick this year. The other is that the Senators have made the playoffs in their first two years of rebuilding. Now, whether it’s because the team has overachieved or because they’ve just been lucky, it really doesn’t matter. This year, everyone knew that the Senators had a great team on paper, but they aren’t showing that on the ice. So they can’t rebuild, but they also can’t just sit around and hope things get better. They can’t add to the team, because they have to make dollar for dollar trades. It’s a very tough spot to be in.

Topics: Game Day Preview, Ottawa Senators

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