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Preview: Senators at Capitals

Goalie Braden Holtby starts for Washington; Mike Condon will play for Ottawa

by Katie Brown / Correspondent

SENATORS (20-12-4) at CAPITALS (21-9-5)

7:30 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, SN, CSN-DC, NHL.TV


Senators team scope

The Ottawa Senators will start goalie Mike Condon in the final game before their five-day break in the schedule. Defenseman Dion Phaneuf did not skate Saturday but coach Guy Boucher said Phaneuf will play Sunday and that he'll use the same lineup that played in a 3-2 overtime loss to the Detroit Red Wings on Thursday. The Senators are 0-1-1 since a four-game winning streak and know they need to keep their focus on winning rather than the upcoming stretch of off days. "The biggest thing is we've got to be professional and make sure that our heads are in the right place," Phaneuf said. "This is a big game for our team. It would be cliché to say, but they're big points. When you have a break coming up, it's a new thing for the League, so we're not used to it. But we know that there's a break ahead of us. It's about being professional, it's about being prepared and we've got a job to do."


Capitals team scope

Goaltender Braden Holtby will start for the Washington Capitals after backup Philipp Grubauer made 21 saves in a 6-2 win at the New Jersey Devils on Saturday. Washington's penalty kill went 9-for-9 in New Jersey. "It was a good job on the penalty kills, everybody blocking shots, sacrificing in the second period," Grubauer said after the game. "Everyone did a great job, and it was key going into the game especially after the last game." Washington is 12-5-1 at home this season but 1-2-2 in its past five games overall, including a 2-1 shootout loss to the Devils at home on Thursday.


Senators projected lineup

Mike Hoffman -- Derick Brassard -- Mark Stone

Ryan Dzingel -- Kyle Turris -- Bobby Ryan

Tom Pyatt -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Chris Kelly

Casey Bailey -- Curtis Lazar -- Chris Neil

Marc Methot -- Erik Karlsson

Dion Phaneuf -- Chris Wideman

Mark Borowiecki -- Cody Ceci

Mike Condon

Matthew O'Connor

Scratched: Fredrik Claesson, Craig Anderson

Injured: Andrew Hammond (ankle), Zack Smith (abdominal strain), Clarke MacArthur (concussion)


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- T.J. Oshie

Marcus Johansson -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- Justin Williams

Andre Burakovsky -- Lars Eller -- Brett Connolly

Daniel Winnik -- Jay Beagle -- Tom Wilson

Karl Alzner -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Matt Niskanen

Brooks Orpik -- Taylor Chorney

Braden Holtby

Philipp Grubauer

Scratched: Nate Schmidt

Injured: None


Status report

Each team had an optional morning skate. … Bailey is playing his second game since being recalled from Binghamton of the American Hockey League on Wednesday. Boucher said MacArthur is still waiting to be cleared to play and won't return immediately after the bye. … The Capitals reassigned forward Jakub Vrana to Hershey of the AHL on Sunday.


Who's hot

Hoffman has four points in three games. Stone has two points in his past two games. … Ovechkin has three goals and five points in his past four games. Beagle has a goal and two assists during his three-game point streak.

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