Alex Ovechkin has gone three straight games without a goal for
the first time and ending that mini-slump could be difficult in his
Ovechkin hasn’t scored often in recent trips to the Canadian
Tire Centre, and his Washington Capitals have lost their last five
meetings with the Ottawa Senators heading into this one Monday
Washington (20-14-5) was victimized by a terrific performance by
Ryan Miller in Sunday’s 2-1 shootout loss in Buffalo. The Capitals
outshot the Sabres 50-17 but Miller came up with 49 saves –
including all 12 on Ovechkin.
“‘We made the right decisions with the puck, and the power play
was working today, but we didn’t score,” said Ovechkin, whose shot
total was a season high. ”(Miller) was on top of his game and he
carried them into the shootout and onto victory.”
Ovechkin’s league-high goal total remains stuck on 30 and
history says that getting to 31 could be difficult.
He has scored once in eight games at Ottawa over the previous
five seasons for his worst output in an Eastern Conference
If Ottawa (16-18-7) starts Craig Anderson, it figures to add to
Anderson is 9-2-1 with a 2.49 goals-against average over his
last 12 starts against the Capitals, with victories in the last
five. Ovechkin has played in nine of those games, scoring three
The Senators won 6-4 at Washington on Nov. 27 in the lone
2013-14 meeting. Bobby Ryan scored twice and Anderson made 29
Ottawa is unsure of the statuses of captain Jason Spezza and
defenseman Chris Phillips, who both sat out Saturday’s 4-3 home win
over Boston with lower-body injuries.
Ryan scored the winning goal with 4:35 remaining as the Senators
avenged a 5-0 loss in Boston the night before.
“Hopefully this is a building block,” Ryan said. “We got points
at home and we got a good team here coming in to close out the
homestand here Monday night so it’s going to be a big one.”
Now Ottawa is seeking consecutive wins for the first time since
a season-best three-game run Nov. 5-9.
“There’s still things that we can do better in our game and do
more consistently in our game and we have to be here to do it
because we have another difficult game coming up here on Monday,”
coach Paul MacLean said.
Washington fell out of the top spot in the league on the power
play by failing on both chances Sunday to drop to 25.5 percent.
Troy Brouwer had its lone goal.
“I can’t really complain on the night,” coach Adam Oates said.
“We had 15 shots in every period, we did a lot of good things, yeah
there’s always mistakes, but we played a pretty solid game.
Obviously, you want to win but I’m not disappointed in the
These teams spent plenty of time in the penalty box in the first
meeting. Washington was 2 for 4 on the power play and Ottawa
converted a season-high three times in six chances.