Caps v. Sens – Heading North

Washington Capitals (3-0-2 8pts) v. Ottawa Senators (2-3-0 4pts)

Time: 7p EST

Station: NBC Sports Washington, SportsNet1, RDS


Heading north of the border for the first time since February 2020, the Washington Capitals visit the Ottawa Senators in a battle of the two nation’s capitals. Both teams are also coming off of disappointing losses, and are looking to get themselves back in the win column.

The Senators are coming off of a disappointing loss from which they had a two goal lead that was taken away from them by the New York Rangers. In the first period Nick Paul would open the scoring for the Sens, and then in the third period Josh Norris would grow the Sens lead to two. Later in the third period Chris Kreider would score on the powerplay and also knee Matt Murray in the head taking him out of the game. As a result Anton Forsberg would enter the game and the Rangers would take advantage of a cold goaltender as Ryan Lindgren and Barclay Goodrow would score to give the rangers the 3-2 victory over the Sens.

For the Capitals they are coming off of a disappointing loss that saw them fall early to the Calgary Flames 3-0 when Andrew Mangiapane would score and Elias Lindholm would score a pair of goals for the Flames. As a result of the Caps collapse Vitek Vanecek would get pulled, and Ilya Samsonov would finish the game. The message from the move was received as the Caps woke up and got goals from Evgeny Kuznetsov, Martin Fehervary (first career NHL goal), and Alex Ovechkin to tie the game at three. However, it would be in overtime when Lindholm would complete the hat trick to give the Flames the 4-3 overtime victory.

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Washington Capitals

Projected Lineup:

Alex Ovechkin — Evgeny Kuznetsov — Tom Wilson

Anthony Mantha — Lars Eller — Daniel Sprong

Conor Sheary — Connor McMichael — T.J. Oshie

Carl Hagelin — Nic Dowd — Garnet Hathaway

Martin Fehervary — John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov — Nick Jensen

Trevor van Riemsdyk — Justin Schultz

Vitek Vanecek

Ilya Samsonov

Scratched: Hendrix Lapierre, Dennis Cholowski, Matt Irwin

Injured: Nicklas Backstrom (hip)

Keys to the Game:

  1. Better Start
    • On Saturday afternoon the Caps started strong, but a post by Evgeny Kuznetsov would flatten the Caps and let the Calgary Flames get the jump on them for a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes of play. The Caps would rebound with a three goal second period, but would fall in overtime to the Flames. Going against the Senators the Caps will need to have a better start, and not let themselves get deflated if they give up the first goal again.
  2. Redemption for VV
    • The Caps let down Viteck Vanecek in the first period against the Flames, and as a result he was pulled from the game to send a message to the team. The message was received as the Caps responded with the three goal second period before falling in overtime. Vanecek deserves redemption, and the team owes it to him too.

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Ottawa Senators

Projected Lineup:

Brady Tkachuk — Josh Norris — Drake Batherson

Tim Stutzle — Nick Paul — Connor Brown

Alex Formenton — Chris Tierney — Parker Kelly

Zach Sanford — Logan Shaw — Tyler Ennis

Thomas Chabot — Artem Zub

Victor Mete — Nikita Zaitsev

Nick Holden — Josh Brown

Anton Forsberg

Matt Murray

Scratched: Scott Sabourin, Michael Del Zotto

Injured: Austin Watson (ankle), Colin White (shoulder), Shane Pinto (upper body)

Keys to the Game:

  1. Solid Goaltending
    • In all honesty, the Senators should have won on Saturday against the New York Rangers, and then Chris Kreider happened and took out Matt Murray who was playing spectacularly for the Sens. Once Kreider’s knee to Murray’s head forced Anton Forsberg into the game, the Sens would end up falling 3-2. If Murray is out long term Forsberg is going to need to pick up the play and give the Sens the solid goaltending they will need against a highly talented Caps team.
  2. Solid Overall Game
    • The Sens were playing a really solid game against the Rangers until Murray got taken out by Kreider. If they want to look to compete with the Caps the Sens will need play just like they did for the first 54 minutes, but for a full 60 minutes.

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