Skip to Main Content
game preview

Capitals at Senators preview

Ovechkin one goal from tying Messier for eighth on NHL all-time list for Washington; Ottawa 2-0-1 in past three

by Callum Fraser / Independent Correspondent

CAPITALS (34-12-5) at SENATORS (18-23-9)

7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, NBCSWA, NHL.TV


The Game

Alex Ovechkin can tie Mark Messier for eighth place on the NHL all-time list with a goal when the Washington Capitals visit the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Friday.

The Capitals forward has 693 goals in his League career, one fewer than Messier. Ovechkin, seven goals shy of becoming the eighth player in NHL history to reach 700 goals, has nine in his past four games, including two hat tricks in his past three.

Washington, which has the best record in the League, will try for its eighth victory in 11 games (7-3-0). Goalie Ilya Samsonov will attempt to win his 11th straight decision; he's 10-0-0 with a 1.60 goals-against average, .941 save percentage and one shutout in his past 10.

The Senators will try to extend their three-game point streak (2-0-1) following a nine-game winless streak (0-6-3).


Players to watch

Capitals forward Tom Wilson has six points (three goals, three assists) in a five-game point streak and has scored one goal in three straight games.

Senators forward Connor Brown has seven points (three goals, four assists) in his past five games.


They said it

"I'd like to see more of what we saw before the [All-Star] break. … The way he controls the play and the confidence he plays with allows our team to play a confident game as well. He's been really impressive, and this will be another test against a really hard working, what I feel is one of the more improved teams, tonight in Ottawa." -- Capitals coach Todd Reirden on goalie Ilya Samsonov

"He's always going to be [heavily scouted], whether he has nine [goals] in his last four or he has zero in his last four. I think he's a guy that does it year after year, and he's proven that he's an elite player. He can score from anywhere on the ice, whether it's on the power play or 5-on-5, so he's going to be our main focus." -- Senators defenseman Thomas Chabot on Washington forward Alex Ovechkin


Capitals projected lineup

Alex Ovechkin -- Nicklas Backstrom -- Tom Wilson

Jakub Vrana -- Evgeny Kuznetsov -- T.J. Oshie

Carl Hagelin -- Lars Eller -- Richard Panik

Brendan Leipsic -- Nic Dowd -- Garnet Hathaway

Michal Kempny -- John Carlson

Dmitry Orlov -- Nick Jensen

Jonas Siegenthaler -- Radko Gudas

Ilya Samsonov

Braden Holtby

Scratched: Travis Boyd

Injured: None


Senators projected lineup

Brady Tkachuk -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Connor Brown

Vladislav Namestnikov -- Chris Tierney -- Anthony Duclair

Tyler Ennis -- Colin White -- Drake Batherson

Filip Chlapik -- Artem Anisimov -- Scott Sabourin

Thomas Chabot -- Ron Hainsey

Mark Borowiecki -- Dylan DeMelo

Mike Reilly -- Nikita Zaitsev

Marcus Hogberg

Craig Anderson

Scratched: Mikkel Boedker, Cody Goloubef

Injured: Anders Nilsson (concussion), Nick Paul (ankle)


Status report

Samsonov will make his first start since Jan. 16, when he made 32 saves in a 5-2 win against the New Jersey Devils. 


Stat pack

Ovechkin has 49 points (29 goals, 20 assists) in 47 games against Ottawa. … The Capitals have scored 19 goals in their past four games. … The Senators are 5-for-7 on the power play (71.4 percent) in their past three games.

View More