The Ottawa Senators are in a bit of a funk right now, and things get no easier on Wednesday night as the Sens visit the Washington Capitals in the second of a three-game road trip.
The Capitals and Senators opened their season against one another in Ottawa, and Washington won 5-4 in a shootout as a -145 betting favourite. Future Hall of Famer Alex Ovechkin had a hat trick, with all three goals coming in a 6:33 span of the third. Evgeny Kuznetsov scored the shootout winner after Ottawa’s Derick Brassard was stopped by Braden Holtby. Brassard was the game’s No. 2 star with a goal and two assists, while Mark Stone had two goals. Craig Anderson made 24 saves.
The Capitals have played just one shootout since, a 2-1 home victory over Edmonton on Nov. 12. Ottawa, meanwhile, leads the NHL with four shootout losses. It lone win in a shootout was Oct. 10 at Vancouver.
Last year, the Sens made just one visit to Washington and lost 2-1 on New Year’s Day. Capitals defenseman Taylor Chorney, who has four career NHL goals, got his only one of last season early in the third period to break a 1-1 tie. Washington is 6-1 in the past seven meetings overall.
The Senators (8-5-6) are on their first three-game losing streak of the season and have totaled just three goals in the slide. They come off a 3-0 defeat at the New York Rangers on Sunday to open the three-game road trip. That was the first meeting between the teams since Ottawa upset the Blueshirts in last year’s Eastern Conference semifinals. Henrik Lundqvist made 20 saves this time. Anderson finished with 24 saves for the Senators, who lost in regulation on the road for the first time this year.
In addition, defenceman Mark Borowiecki suffered a concussion after crashing into the boards in a third-period collision with Brendan Smith. Coach Guy Boucher said Borowiecki was originally unconscious on the ice, so he’s clearly going to miss some time. Ottawa had a five-minute power play from the Borowiecki injury as Smith was given a match penalty, but the Senators had just one shot during it. Ben Harpur is expected to take Borowiecki’s spot Wednesday.
The Capitals (11-10-1) have dropped three of four following a 4-1 home loss to Calgary on Monday as the Flames completed the season sweep. Washington was outshot 39-30 and allowed Calgary to convert 2-for-5 on the power play (and scored a third goal one second after a power play expired), while the Caps were 0-for-3 with the man advantage. Lars Eller had the lone Washington goal, his fourth of the season to end an eight-game drought.
The Caps have struggled to score on the season, averaging 2.7 goals per game. Kuznetsov leads the team with 23 points (five goals, 18 assists). Ovechkin is among the NHL leaders in goals, as he usually is, with 13.
Senators vs. Capitals Prediction