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Shutting down Ovechkin and Semin will be key to Sens victory

by Staff Writer / Ottawa Senators
Washington's duo of Alexander Ovechkin, right, and Alexander Semin has combined for 53 goals this season. Photo: Getty Images

by Todd Anderson

Tonight the Ottawa Senators look to bust out of a 0-1-1 record against the Washington Capitals this season and stretch their winning streak of 9-1-1 in their last 11 games. In order to do so, Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson says each player in the lineup will have to remember what has been the cause for the club's recent success.

"We have to remind ourselves that if you want a chance to win, you've got to go out and give it your best effort," Alfredsson said after an optional skate this morning at Scotiabank Place. "We had a pretty good start in one of our games this season and had a 3-0 lead on them (but lost 4-3 in overtime). We sat back too much and took some penalties. We can't do that."

While Washington Capitals sophomore forward Alexander Ovechkin continues to dazzle the NHL with his brilliant play, Ovechkin's teammate Alexander Semin has also enjoyed a brilliant season thus far. Semin has 25 goals and 44 points this season and has scored in five straight games.

The Senators' defensive pairing of Chris Phillips and Anton Volchenkov are expected to see a lot of ice time against those two Caps tonight.

"They have a few guys who can put the puck in the net," Phillips said. "We have to play a solid team game like we have been to keep this (winning streak) going."

Senators head coach Bryan Murray expects a better effort tonight after his team has been outworked in previous meetings against the Capitals this season.

"They're a team that played very hard and very disciplined against us, and we haven't done very well. We have to find a way to work at the level we are right now against this hockey team and score some goals. (Washington goaltenders) Brent Johnson and Ollie (Olaf) Kolzig have been great."

Ray Emery will start in goal for the Senators tonight.

Tonight's game marks Washington defenceman Brian Pothier's first return to Scotiabank Place since signing as a free agent with the Capitals in the off-season. Pothier skated with Ottawa during the previous three seasons.

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