Capitals carry 14-game point streak into tilt vs. Senators (Jan 24, 2017)
OTTAWA -- - The Ottawa Senators have enjoyed a decent January thus far, posting a 5-1-1 record since receiving one-goal losses to the Washington Capitals in the first week of the month.
Of course, most teams have sustained losses to the Capitals dating back to Dec. 27 -- Washington's last regulation defeat.
The Capitals' 6-1 beating of the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday was the 14th consecutive game (12-0-2) in which they've earned at least a point. Washington can tie a franchise record by extending the streak to 15 games Tuesday night in Ottawa.
"We've got all four lines rolling, and with our depth and our ability, when every line's going we're tough to stop," winger T.J. Oshie said after scoring his 18th goal of the season in the win over Carolina. "Things are going well right now, mentally we've got to keep our foot on the gas right now."
The Capitals have outscored opponents 65-27 during their 14-game run. In only four of the contests have their opponents scored more than two goals.
"It's going to be tough going back-to-back in Ottawa," Oshie said. "Mentally another tough task, and I think we're up to the challenge."
The Senators concluded a busy, four-game-in-six nights week on Sunday with a sloppy 7-6 overtime loss on home ice to the Columbus Blue Jackets. The setback came less than 24 hours after they won a shootout in Toronto.
Coach Guy Boucher told his players to stay away from the rink on Monday, hoping they will be re-energized to face a Capitals team that beat them at both ends of their bye week. Washington posted a 2-1 home win on Jan. 1 and a 1-0 triumph in Ottawa on Jan. 7.
"We need the energy to be able to sustain our effort through 60 minutes," Boucher said. "They are probably, if I'm not mistaken, the only top team we haven't beaten yet. Everybody else we were able to beat. It's a great challenge, absolutely."
Mike Condon will be out to redeem himself after giving up seven on Sunday when he is expected to make his 14th consecutive start and 23rd straight appearance for the Senators.
Braden Holtby stopped 25 shots in Monday's win and could be due for a rest, although he is showing no signs of needing one. In his last 20 games, Holtby has five shutouts, a 1.72 goals against average and a .939 save percentage.
With an assist on Monday, Capitals center Nicklas Backstrom extended his point streak to 10 games, tying the longest of his career. Mike Hoffman is the Senators' hottest shooter of late, scoring seven goals in his last seven games.
Ottawa did make some off-ice news on Monday when it signed winger Zack Smith to a four-year, $13 million contract extension. Smith, a third-round pick of the Senators in 2008, had his best season last year, scoring 25 goals. He had two in Sunday's loss to give him 11 so far in 2016-17.
"What else can you say besides I'm very happy to get this done," Smith said.