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Revved-up Capitals welcome in Senators

by Eric Goodman
SENATORS (0-2-0) at CAPITALS (1-1-0)


Season series --
This is the first of four meetings between the teams this season. Ottawa took three of four games from the Capitals in 2009-10, with two of those wins coming in overtime.

Big story --
The Capitals continue their three-game homestand after a convincing 7-2 victory over the Devils at Verizon Center on Saturday. The Sens are still in search of their first win of the season, having lost to the Sabres and Maple Leafs by a combined score of 7-2 to open the 2010-11 campaign.

Team Scope:

Senators -- While the season is still young for Ottawa, it cannot be too happy with the results of its first two games. After a hard-fought 2-1 opening-night loss to the visiting Sabres, the Sens were hoping to get something going with a visit to Toronto on Saturday, but left Air Canada Centre on the wrong side of a 5-1 result.

"Very disappointing," coach Cory Clouston said after Saturday's loss. "We felt we had a pretty positive preseason, had a good week of practice. We've been outworked, outcompeted and outexecuted in all areas right now."

Capitals -- If there's anything that makes a coach happier than seeing his team score seven goals in a game, it's the fact that those seven goals were notched by six different players. Perennial All-Star Alex Ovechkin was the only Capitals player to score twice Saturday against New Jersey, but it was certainly an overall team effort.

"We have a lot of leaders on this team," coach Bruce Boudreau said after Saturday's game. "When (Ovechkin) scored his first, it was like seeing the air come out of the balloon and when (Jason Chimera) scored, it just seemed like everything opened up."

Who's hot -- Ottawa's Chris Kelly scored a goal on Saturday and is just one of three Senators players on the positive side with a plus-1 rating through two games. … While there's still a season's worth of hockey left to be played, Ovechkin is in familiar territory, as he resides near the top of the NHL scoring leaders with four points and 13 shots on goal thus far.

Injury report -- Jason Spezza returned to action Saturday night and scored the Sens' lone goal. Defenseman Filip Kuba will miss at least another three weeks for Ottawa with a broken leg. … Capitals goalie Semyon Varlamov was still sidelined with an undisclosed injury Saturday.

Stat pack --
Ovechkin's pair on Saturday extended his home-opener goal-scoring streak to six. He has 10 goals and a dozen points in six home openers.

Puck drop -- "We have to improve our game," Clouston said. "You can say all you want, but X's and O's mean nothing if we don't compete harder than we did and if we don't skate, move our feet and if we don't execute."
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