The Sens look to snap their 3-game losing skid tonight in Washington when they visit the Capitals at 7 p.m.
1. Chabot called up
The Sens recalled Thomas Chabot from Belleville on Monday after Mark Borowiecki suffered a concussion during Sunday's loss to the Rangers and returned to Ottawa.
"Happy to see Chabot here but don't make anything bigger than it is. He's here because Boro got hurt or else he wouldn't be here," clarified head coach Guy Boucher yesterday. "He's still developing, he's still got some things that he needs to master but definitely we're going to use his strengths and one of them is power play."
Chabot, who has recorded 7 points (2 goals, 5 assists) in 12 games for the B-Sens, skated in three games for the Senators during their successful Western Canadian road trip earlier this season.
"I had a good week there but then I got back to Belleville and I still had a few things to work on," said Chabot. "Everything will never be perfect but I'm working with Kurt and Paul in Belleville and we're just trying to improve my overall game."
The coach was clear with his message on Wednesday and he doesn't expect Chabot to be the answer to the team's current offensive issues.
"We're not going to ask him to come here and all of sudden change the way he plays and the way we play," said Boucher. "Be a kid who's learning and don't put too much pressure on yourself."
2. From the coach
Boucher did speak at length with the media yesterday regarding what he feels has been missing from the Sens' play over the last three games and that was the focus of the team's practice yesterday in Washington...
The coach's message at practice yesterday:
Driving the net and paying the price at the net. That's all that's been missing in the last three games. I spent all day yesterday watching the last three games versus Colorado and our offence was third in the league after those games against Colorado. The last games we got the same quantity of offence that we had previously but we were definitely not paying the price as much at the net. That's clean and clear.
On re-instilling the team's net front presence:
We did video before and that's what we did in practice. The guys know and they've done it before. That's why we've been successful offensively so we just have to go back to that. There's nothing else, that's it. It's the same on power play as it is on 5-on-5...it's our lack of numbers at the net and paying the price that we had previously done that put us third in the league offensively.
Using Dion Phaneuf in front of the net on the power play:
That's the message. I know he'll be there, he'll stay there and he'll pay the price there. We did that last year too if you remember. In the end, I'm going to put guys there that want to be there and do the job.
Having the team re-buy in to paying the price in front of the net:
We ask that from everybody. You can't be a winning team if you don't have the courage to do that on a consistent basis and our guys have it...it's just a reminder. Sometimes you try to find other ways, especially when you get a little fatigued; you get away from that because that's hard work. That's a lot of work getting in there and getting hacked or crosschecked. It's very physical in there.
Video: Nov 21: Boucher Practice Media
3. Stone among league's elite
With 10 goals in his last 12 games, Mark Stone has moved himself up the list of the NHL's top goal scorers with a current total of 13 on the season. Stone is tied for third with Washington's Alex Ovechkin and trails only John Tavares (15) and Nikita Kucherov (17).
Video: ARI@OTT: Stone puts one in off the post on the rush
What's even more astounding is that every one of Stone's 13 goals this year have been scored 5-on-5. Only Kucherov (14) has more even strength goals to start the season.
And in case you were wondering, yes...he's right up near the top of the list when it comes to takeaways this season also having record 24 in 19 games which has him tied for 3rd with 4 other players.
4. Previous meeting
These teams last met in the Sens' home opener back on October 5th where the Capitals rallied in the third period and bested the Sens 5-4 in a shootout. The trio of Mark Stone, Bobby Ryan and Derick Brassard were exceptional combining for 7 points and a collected +2 in defeat.
Full highlights from that game can be found below...
Video: OTT Recap: Sens lose lead, drop season opener in SO
5. Where to watch
Puck drop is set for a little after 7 p.m. tonight in Washington and you can catch all the action on Sportsnet and TVAS. Dean Brown and Gord Wilson will have the call on the radio on TSN 1200 too.