Preview: Ottawa at Washington
When: 7:00 PM ET, Sunday, January 10, 2016
Where: Verizon Center, Washington, District Of Columbia
Alex Ovechkin looks to become the latest member of the 500-goal club while his Washington Capitals vie for their fourth consecutive victory when they host the Ottawa Senators on Sunday. Washington’s captain scored a pair of goals in Saturday’s 4-3 road triumph over the New York Rangers, including the winner in overtime, to move within one of being the 43rd player in NHL history to reach the 500 mark.
Ovechkin has 24 goals this season – one behind league leader Jamie Benn of Dallas – and is within one of matching Lanny McDonald for 42nd place on the all-time list. Braden Holtby could receive a rest after posting his NHL-high 27th victory and improving to 19-0-2 in his last 21 decisions. Ottawa edged Boston in overtime Saturday for only its third win in nine games, with two of the victories coming at home against the Bruins. Washington won the first of its three meetings with Ottawa this season, posting a 2-1 victory at home on Dec. 16.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, Sportsnet, TVA (Ottawa), CSN DC (Washington)
ABOUT THE SENATORS (20-16-6): Ottawa will be looking to post consecutive victories for the first time since notching overtime triumphs at home over Chicago and the New York Islanders on Dec. 3 and 5, respectively. Four of the Senators’ last eight wins have been recorded in the extra session. Captain Erik Karlsson ranks second in the league with 36 assists – one behind Chicago’s Patrick Kane – and has notched at least one point in 10 of his last 12 contests after recording two assists Saturday.
ABOUT THE CAPITALS (31-7-3): Holtby is the fourth goaltender in the last 20 seasons to post a point streak of at least 21 games and the second Washington netminder to do so, joining Jose Theodore (20-0-3 in 2009-10). The 26-year-old Holtby, who has recorded two shutouts and a 1.89 goals-against average during his run, has not lost in regulation since dropping a 1-0 decision Nov. 10 at Detroit. Marcus Johansson will finish serving his two-game suspension for a hit to the head of Islanders defenseman Thomas Hickey on Thursday while fellow center Zach Sill is eligible to return from his two-game ban for boarding Boston blue-liner Adam McQuaid two days earlier.
1. Ovechkin is tied with Jeremy Roenick for 22nd place on the all-time list with 184 career power-play goals.
2. Ottawa C Kyle Turris is in the midst of a 11-game goal-scoring drought, last tallying on Dec. 14.
3. Washington C Mike Richards, who signed a one-year contract Wednesday, is not yet ready to make his Capitals debut and could be sent to Hershey of the American Hockey League for a conditioning stint.
PREDICTION: Capitals 4, Senators 1