Washington Capitals (34-12-5) vs Ottawa Senators (18-23-9)
|Predicted Goaltender||Record||GAA / SV% / # SO|
|Washington Capitals||Ilya Samsonov||15-2-1||2.07 / .927 / 1|
|Ottawa Senators||Marcus Hogberg||2-2-6||2.90 / .912 / 0|
A quick stop back at home and they’re off to Canada again. This time, the Washington Capitals traveled up to Canada’s capital city of Ottawa to take on the Senators for the 2nd time this month. Back on January 7th, Washington defeated the Senators by a score of 6-1. That game featured two goals each from TJ Oshie and Alex Ovechkin.
For this week’s round of Wednesday Night Hockey, the Washington Capitals squared up with the Nashville Predators, and ultimately lost 5-4. The Capitals hoped to end a losing streak in which the Predators had defeated Washington in seven consecutive matches. In what ended up being a weird night of hockey, we saw an own-goal by Nashville’s Nick Bonino, a short-handed goal allowed by Washington, and at times, some incredible goal tending. Richard Panik got on the board first, just short of the 10-minute mark of the first period with his 6th goal of the season. It didn’t take long (47 seconds to be exact) for Nashville to answer right back, with Jarred Tinordi tallying his first goal of the season. Tinordi had played just seven games with Nashville this season, serving primarily as a backup from losses to injury. Not even three minutes later, Mikael Granlund scored his 10th of the season, on the Nashville power play, as Dmitry Orlov was in the box for holding. At the 16:02 mark of the first, Rocco Grimaldi improved the Predators’ lead by two goals, but 24 seconds after that goal, Alex Ovechkin scored his 35th of the season. With the goal, Ovechkin officially passed Steve Yzerman and moved into 9th place on the all-time scoring list. The Capitals were unable to score on either power play in the first period, despite playing against the worst penalty kill team on the road. Six minutes and one second into the middle period, Richard Panik ‘scored’ his 7th goals of the season, and second of the game, which actually was scored by Rocco Grimaldi of the Predators on his own goal Juuse Saros. A failed clearing attempt ended up behind the Nashville back-up goalie, but Panik was the last Capitals player to touch the puck, so he received credit for the goal. On Washingtons’ fourth man-advantage of the evening, Tom Wilson tallied his 16th of the season, giving the Caps their first lead of the night. Washington received another power play in the third period, but would end up converting on just one of five on the night. The Capitals gave up yet another short-handed goal, something they’ve become incredibly good at, exactly three minutes into the third period. A botched clear by goaltender Braden Holtby ended up as a turn-over, and one-on-one, Ryan Johansen potted his 11th on the season to tie it up once more. With Johansen’s goal, the Capitals have allowed four short-handed goals in seven games. With just under five minutes remaining, Yannick Weber would seal an eighth consecutive win over Washington with his first goal of the season. The Predators were one-for-four on the man-advantage tonight, and Washington out-shot Nashville 33 to 24. Braden Holtby ended the night five goals on 24 shots, and finished with his second worst save percentage of the season of .792%. Ilya Samsonov will start versus the Senators, just as he did four weeks ago.
The Ottawa Senators were last in action on Tuesday, where they defeated the Buffalo Senators 5-2 to end a seven-game winless streak on the road. One of those losses came to Washington, just seven games prior. Before the game was four minutes old, Jean-Gabriel Pageau tallied his 20th goal of the season, on the power play, giving Ottawa the early lead. That goal would set a new career-high for the centerman and mark the first 20-goal season of his career (Hockey-Reference). However, Seth Reinhart would tie the game at one goal apiece at the 13:42 mark with his 18th of the season, on the Sabres power play. Remarkably, not a single goal scored by the Senators came on even-strength. Tyler Ennis, on the Ottawa power play, at the 4:52 mark of the second period, gave the Senators back their lead with his 13th of the season. Four minutes later, Jack Eichel tallied his 29th of the season to tie the game once again. The third period saw three more Senators goals, two of which were empty-net goals. Eight minutes and 43 seconds in, Mike Reilly tallied his first of the season, again on the Ottawa power play. With Nikita Zaitsev in the penalty box for roughing, the Sabres elected to pull Linus Ullmark for the extra attacker to try and even up the score. But Mike Borowiecki had different plans. With just over two minutes left, Borowiecki potted an empty-net, short-handed goal to mark his 6th of the season. Exactly 120 seconds later, Nikita Zaitsev scored his first goal in his first season with the Senators, also with the vacated Buffalo net. Having out-shot the Sabres 39 to 30, Ottawa checked off their 18th win of the season. Craig Anderson ended his night with a .933 save percentage. Marcus Hogberg is slated to start for the Senators versus the Capitals.
The Senators are still struggling with injuries, and will be without the following players:
- Clarke MacArthur (IR-NR, neck)
- Ryan Callahan (IR-NR, back)
- Marian Gaborik (IR-NR, back)
- Anders Nilsson (DL, concussion)
- Nick Paul (DL, ankle)
- Christian Wolanin (IR-NR, shoulder).
Coverage of the game begins at 6:30pm with Caps Faceoff Live, followed by Caps Pregame Live at 7:00pm, all on NBCSN/NBCSWA, with puck drop shortly after 7:30pm.
ESPN. (2020). 2019-20 NHL Hockey Stats and League Leaders. Retrieved from http://proxy.espn.com/nhl/statistics/team?stat=special-teams&sort=shortHandedGoals&split=34.
Hockey-Reference. (2020). Jean-Gabriel Pageau Stats. Retrieved from https://www.hockey-reference.com/players/p/pageaje01.html
TheScore. (2020). Ottawa Senators News & Stats. Retrieved from https://www.thescore.com/nhl/teams/4.