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Game Day 5: Sens vs Capitals

by Craig Medaglia @craigmedaglia / Ottawa Senators

For the third time in a little over 3 weeks the Sens take on the Washington Capitals and we've got 5 things to get you ready for puck drop.

1. Starting Goalies

Starting to sound like a bit of a broken record but Mike Condon is expected to start in goal again tonight. This will be Condon's 14th straight start and 23rd consecutive appearance for the Sens as he looks to rebound after Sunday's 7-6 overtime loss to the Blue Jackets.

With the Capitals having played last night, back-up Philipp Grubauer gets the nod in goal for Washington. Grubauer is 9-1-2 with his most recent start coming last Saturday in a 4-3 road win against the Dallas Stars.

 

2. Projected line-up

Mike Hoffman missed this morning's skate with the same flu bug that's been floating around for the past week and will be a game-time decision tonight. Another flu patient, Mark Borowiecki, will miss his 4th straight game.

Here's how the lines and pairing are shaping up.

 

3. Previous meeting

The Sens are 0-2-0 against the Capitals this month with their most recent defeat coming in Ottawa on January 7th by a final of 1-0. Braden Holtby stopped all 30 shots the Sens fired his way while Mike Condon was nearly as perfect turning aside 19 of 20 in the loss.

Check out the full highlights from that game below...

Video: OTT Recap: Sens can't solve Holtby in 1-0 loss

 

4. Pageau talk

 

On facing the Capitals for the third time this month:

We know it's going to be a big challenge. We know they're doing really well lately but I think we're doing well too so I think both teams are going to try and bring their best. We both know that it's going to be a hard game and it's going to be hard to win so I don't think we're going to prepare differently than last time.

On being the top face-off team since January 1st:

I was just on the ice and the coach told us and Kyle Turris told me too. I think it's pretty good and it's good to start with the possession of the puck. It's a big goal for us and it doesn't only come from the centre. Defencemen bumping on face-offs, wingers helping out too so I think it's a good for us to be on top for that stat.

On his improvement in the face-off circle this season:

While the year goes on you're timing is getting better and better. Obviously, I think all the teams do video so I think it's good that we do video before games to know what the other centre's tendencies are. I think it helps me a lot but there are games where it will be harder and the bounces don't go your way or your timing is a little off but I'm trying to do the same thing every game. For now it's working well.

On Zack Smith's four year contract extension:

It's great. I think we've been in the same situation. He had to work his way up to where he is and he deserves this contract. He's put in so much work and he's so good for us right now and like I said he deserves his long-term contract. Hopefully he'll be with us for that whole time because he's a great guy in the room and a great guy to have on and off the ice for us. I'm happy that he signed a deal here.

 

5. At the game

We've got outselves a 7:30 p.m. start tonight but it's definitely a night where you want to be in your seat early. Former GM and current Senior Hockey Advisor Bryan Murray is set to be the first inductee into the Ottawa Senators Ring of Honour.

Murray was originally hired by the Senators as the fifth head coach in franchise history on June 8, 2004 and in two-plus seasons behind the bench compiled a 107-55-20 record before being appointed the sixth general manager in team history on June 18, 2007.

Ottawa Senators owner and Chief Executive Officer, Eugene Melnyk on Murray contributions to the organization:

Bryan Murray's distinguished career places among the finest executives in NHL history, not only as coach and general manager, but as a leader and mentor. I could not be more excited to announce Bryan as the first member of the Ottawa Senators Ring of Honour, a lasting tribute where our fans, both present and future, can be reminded of Bryan's many contributions to our team, our city and our community. On behalf of the Player Honouring Committee, our hockey club and our fans, I want to extend my most heartfelt congratulations to Bryan and his family on this tremendous honour.

If you can't make it to the building, catch the game on TSN5 and RDS2.

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