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Capitals' Grubauer gets call for second straight night

by Sean Farrell

OTTAWA -- A light workload the previous day against the Buffalo Sabres helped make it possible for Washington Capitals goaltender Philipp Grubauer to earn a fourth straight start Monday against the Ottawa Senators.

Washington coach Adam Oates decided to start Grubauer on consecutive days after he stopped 16 of 17 shots Sunday in the Capitals' 2-1 shootout loss in Buffalo. The 22-year-old German rookie held the Sabres scoreless through the first five rounds of the tiebreaker before Steve Ott scored the winner on Buffalo's sixth attempt.

"I thought he played a really good game," Oates said. "We outshot them 50 to something, 15, 16, and he didn't have a lot of work chances-wise, and I think that he's got plenty of energy for tonight."

Braden Holtby has two starts in the Capitals' previous eight games.

"It's a long year and there's going to be plenty of opportunity," Oates said.

Michal Neuvirth will not dress for a sixth straight game. Neuvirth did not want to comment about reports he had requested a trade.

"There are a lot of things that we like about Neuvy," Oates said. "He's had plenty of opportunities to play that unfortunately he's had some injuries. I mean, he stepped on a puck on his last start. There's nothing we can do about it, and now Gruby's come up and played well, and he's got to wait his turn. We gave him a two-year deal at the end of the season last year and I like the fact that he wants to play, and the organization likes that, but it's a unique situation and you've just got to wait your turn."

Oates said forward Brooks Laich will be a game-time decision.

Ottawa captain Jason Spezza and defenseman Chris Phillips remain sidelined by injuries that kept them out of the lineup for the Senators' 4-3 win against the Boston Bruins on Saturday.

Spezza is day-to-day with a lower-body injury that is neither related to back surgery that sidelined him for most of last season, nor his groin injury earlier this season.

Phillips, who has a left foot injury, took part in the Senators' morning skate Monday.

"I think we're going to be a little cautious with it," Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said. "We have two more days before we play so I think we're going to hold him out, the same with Jason to give them two more days, and we'll re-evaluate it for the game on Thursday."

Craig Anderson will start his second game in a row for the Senators, who have only two winning streaks, their last a season-high three-game run from Nov. 5-9.

"Has it been that long?" Senators defenseman Marc Methot said. "I didn't know that, but it feels like it's been a while."

Ottawa, which is 3-10-2 in games following a victory this season, has failed to follow up a win with another eight straight times since then.

Methot would like to see the impact a winning streak would have with his teammates.

"It's not just the wins on paper, it's feeling good in the dressing room," Methot said. "That's why we play the game. Having that fun atmosphere afterwards and feeling good about yourself coming in the next morning for practice, it all ties in to that kind of stuff."

Here are the projected Capitals and Senators lineups:


Marcus JohanssonNicklas BackstromAlex Ovechkin

Eric FehrMikhail GrabovskiTroy Brouwer

Jason ChimeraMartin EratJoel Ward

Aaron VolpattiJay BeagleTom Wilson

Karl AlznerJohn Carlson

Dmitry Orlov - Mike Green

John ErskineSteve Oleksy

Philipp Grubauer

Braden Holtby

Scratched: Michal Neuvirth, Alexander Urbom

Injured: Jack Hillen (leg), Michael Latta (lower body), Brooks Laich (groin)


Milan Michalek - Mika Zibanejad - Cory Conacher

Clarke MacArthur - Kyle Turris - Bobby Ryan

Colin Greening - Zack Smith - Chris Neil

Matt Kassian - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Erik Condra

Jared Cowen - Erik Karlsson

Patrick Wiercioch - Cody Ceci

Marc Methot - Joe Corvo

Craig Anderson

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Eric Gryba

Injured: Jason Spezza (lower body), Chris Phillips (left foot)

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