Photo: Nick Wass/AP
After scoring two goals in the final minute of the third period and defeating the San Jose Sharks 5-4 in overtime on Sunday, the Washington Capitals are back to work on Tuesday with the first of three meetings this season against the Ottawa Senators. Action from Capital One Arena begins at 7:00 P.M. ET on NBC Sports Washington.
Last season, Ottawa finished eighth in the Atlantic Division and last in the league at 29-47-6 and 64 points. The Senators fell to the Capitals in all three games — the most recent being a 7-2 loss at Capital One Arena on February 26.
The Senators have 37 points currently and a record of 16-21-5. Sitting seventh in the Atlantic Division and 29th overall, Ottawa is riding a three-game losing streak after the Tampa Bay Lightning beat them by a score of 5-3 at home on Saturday.
Tuesday’s clash with the Capitals begins a quick two-game road trip before a five-game homestand at Canadian Tire Centre. On the road this season, the Senators have gone 5-14-3. Ottawa has a 41-45-5-5 record against Washington.
Forward Anthony Duclair leads the Senators with 32 points and 21 goals, which include four points in his last five games. Defenseman Thomas Chabot has recorded 21 assists thus far.
Duclair is listed as day-to-day with an undisclosed injury. He was a game-time decision on Saturday but did not play against the Lightning. The Senators also have four players on injured reserve: defensemen Dylan DeMelo (finger), Ron Hainsey (undisclosed), and Nikita Zaitsev (lower-body); and goaltender Anders Nilsson (concussion). Head coach D.J. Smith said he’s hopeful for DeMelo to return, questionable on Hainsey, and ruled Zaitsev out. “I think Duclair looked good out there so it looks like he’ll go but I’m not 100%,” Smith said about the injured forward.
Goaltender Craig Anderson faced 27 shots and allowed four goals on Saturday. His record this season is 6-10-1, a .900 Save Percentage, and 3.12 Goals-Against Average. Senators netminder Marcus Hogberg has not started since the 5-2 loss at PPG Paints Arena to the Pittsburgh Penguins on December 30. He allowed five goals in the 33 shots faced. Hogberg has gone 1-2-1 with Goals-Against Average of 3.43 and a .894 Save Percentage.
Ottawa is ranked last (11.4%) in the NHL on the main advantage. Despite a struggling power play, the Senators are in the middle of the pack (17th) on the penalty kill with an 80.8% efficiency. Duclair leads with five power play goals. Defenseman Mark Borowiecki has picked up 54 penalty minutes with forward Brady Tkachuk not far behind at 49 minutes.
It’s no surprise Washington continues to lead the Metropolitan Division and league at 29-9-5 and 63 points. On a two-game winning streak, the Capitals are the only team thus far to reach the 60-point plateau.
The team will be hosting Pride Night on Tuesday. Select players will use sticks wrapped in rainbow-color “Pride Tape” during pregame warmups.
The Capitals wrap up a short two-game homestand on Tuesday before departing to Philadelphia for a “Wednesday Night Hockey” feature against the Flyers. The team has a 12-4-4 record at Capital One Arena. Clashing with the Senators, the Capitals have gone 50-36-5-5.
Defenseman John Carlson remains the leader in points (52) and assists (39). Captain Alex Ovechkin leads the Capitals with 24 goals.
Defenseman Christian Djoos, who has been out with an upper-body injury since December 28, was on the ice Monday morning with strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish. He is listed as day-to-day.
Spare defenseman Christian Djoos, sidelined since Dec. 28 with an upper body injury, is skating with strength and conditioning coach Mark Nemish this morning. So progress. It’s a scheduled off day for everyone else. #Caps
— Tarik El-Bashir (@Tarik_ElBashir) January 6, 2020
Goaltender Braden Holtby made 25 saves and allowed three goals in Sunday’s matinee victory. He improved to 18-7-4, 2.99 Goals-Against Average, and a .902 Save Percentage. On Friday, netminder Ilya Samsonov faced 41 shots and allowed three goals in the 4-3 win over the Carolina Hurricanes. Samsonov’s record thus far is 11-2-1, .918 Save Percentage, and 2.33 Goals-Against Average.
The Capitals are ranked 11th in the league with a 21.8% power play efficiency. On the penalty kill, they are third (83.3%) in the NHL behind the Sharks (88.3%) and Boston Bruins (85.7%). Ovechkin leads with nine power play goals. Forward Tom Wilson has picked up 65 penalty minutes for Washington.
By Della Young
— Tom Wilson (@tom_wilso) January 6, 2020