Forward Alex Ovechkin will try to become the 43rd player in NHL history to score 500 goals when the Washington Capitals play the Ottawa Senators at Verizon Center on Sunday (7 p.m. ET; SN, TVA Sports, CSN-DC).
Ovechkin scored twice Saturday, including the game-winner in overtime, in Washington's 4-3 victory against the New York Rangers to reach 499 goals. He has 24 goals in 40 games this season.
"I think we talked about this when he was chasing [Sergei] Fedorov's record [for most goals by a Russian player]," Capitals coach Barry Trotz told MonumentalNetwork.com. "Our fans, the people that have supported him for so long, they've seen a lot of his goals, a lot of his celebrations. It would only be fitting if he could get it done at home. He's got a chance to do that [Sunday]. I don't think he's nervous about it or anything like that. I think he was more nervous about chasing Fedorov down."
Ovechkin will try to score No. 500 against Senators goalie Andrew Hammond, who he never has scored against.
"When he scored 499 [Saturday], Hammond said to me, 'This guy is going to have 500 shots tomorrow night; he is going to shoot from everywhere,'" forward Bobby Ryan told the Senators website. "That guy seems to pass a milestone every week for the past little while here. It will be a special moment for him, but let's just hope he can wait a few days. ... I don't hope he shoots from everywhere, but you know he is going to."
Goalie Philipp Grubauer will start for Washington.
The Senators defeated the Boston Bruins 2-1 in overtime on Saturday. Craig Anderson, who made 33 saves, will back up Hammond on Sunday.
"This is a good challenge for us. We are playing them on a back-to-back," Senators defenseman Mark Methot said. "It's an opportunity for us to get a bit of an upset here and steal two points."
Here are the projected lineups:
Bobby Ryan – Kyle Turris – Mark Stone
Mike Hoffman – Mika Zibanejad – Milan Michalek
Max McCormick – Jean-Gabriel Pageau – Curtis Lazar
Shane Prince – Zack Smith – Chris Neil
Fredrik Claesson – Erik Karlsson
Marc Methot – Cody Ceci
Patrick Wiercioch – Mark Borowiecki
Scratched: Alex Chiasson, Jared Cowen, Chris Wideman
Injured: Chris Phillips (back), Clarke MacArthur (concussion)
Alex Ovechkin - Nicklas Backstrom - T.J. Oshie
Andre Burakovsky - Evgeny Kuznetsov - Justin Williams
Jason Chimera - Michael Latta - Tom Wilson
Brooks Laich - Paul Carey - Stanislav Galiev
Matt Niskanen - Karl Alzner
Dmitry Orlov - Nate Schmidt
Aaron Ness - Taylor Chorney
Injured: Brooks Orpik (lower body), John Carlson (lower body), Jay Beagle (upper body)
Scratched: Mike Richards
Suspended: Marcus Johansson
Status report: Besides Hammond, the Senators likely won't have any lineup changes. Ryan, who took a hard hit into the end boards Saturday, will play. ... The Capitals are expected to use the same lineup from Saturday with Carey in for Johansson, who is serving the second of a two-game suspension.
Who's hot: Ovechkin has three goals in his past two games. Holtby leads the League in wins (27), is third in goals-against average (1.93) and fourth in save percentage (.932). ... Karlsson had two assists Saturday. He has four points in his past four games and is second in the League in assists (36).