CAPITALS (34-12-5) at SENATORS (18-23-9)
7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, NBCSWA, NHL.TV
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
Scratched: Travis Boyd
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
Scratched: Mikkel Boedker, Cody Goloubef
Injured: Anders Nilsson (concussion), Nick Paul (ankle)
Samsonov will make his first start since Jan. 16, when he made 32 saves in a 5-2 win against the New Jersey Devils.
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.