Game Day 5

1. The set up:

It's the third and final match up between these two Eastern Conference foes with each side winning on home ice once this season.

The Senators are on the second night of a back-to-back after their comeback against New Jersey came up just shorty on home ice last night. However, with the exception of the game against Florida, this Senators team has shown some real signs of growth and strength down the final stretch of this season. Rattling off their first five-game win streak of the year and putting up competitive efforts that went right to the wire against Minnesota and New Jersey, this group is trending in the right direction heading into the offseason with a lot of momentum they can carry into next season.

Though the Senators are officially eliminated from playoff contention, the tie breaker has a lot on the line for Washington who is in a battle for one of the final playoff spots. Tied with the Red Wings and sitting just one point behind the Flyers and Penguins for the final Wild Card spot, and three points behind the Islanders for the final Metropolitan Division spot, this is a crucial game for the Capitals. The Caps are coming in on a bit of a slump having lost five straight, but with only six games left in the season they will need these critical points if they want to stay alive in this playoff battle.

2. Roster report:

The Senators didn't hold a morning skate today given that it's the second night of a back-to-back. Interim head coach Jacques Martin will provide an update on the available line-up during his pregame media availability around 4 p.m. Tim Stützle was day-to-day with an upper body injury sustained against Florida so we will see if he is available or if he is still rehabbing that injury. Below is how the Senators lined up last night against New Jersey at Canadian Tire Centre:

Projected Lines Article

3. Who to watch:

The last time the Senators saw the Capitals a few weeks ago the result may not have gone the way they wanted but there certainly were some bright spots. One such bright spot was the play of Shane Pinto who contributed on all three Senators goals on the night including potting one of his own.

OTT@WSH: Pinto scores goal against Darcy Kuemper

Though he has only been able to play in 35 games this season, Pinto has had a remarkable impact on the Senators. With eight goals in 35 games he is on about the same scoring pace that he was last season when he set a career high with 20 goals in 82 games. However, it's his playmaking that has taken a considerable jump this year already eclipsing his previous career high of 15 assists now with 17 on the season and room yet to add to that total. While he likely won't set a new career high in total points his pace this season would shatter the mark he set last year of 35 as his 82-game pace would have netter him 58 points this season, flirting with his first 60-point season of his career. 

Look for Pinto to add to those numbers as he shows the hockey world just what he is capable of heading into next season.

4. Tkachuk's record setting night:

When I say Brady Tkachuk was everywhere on Saturday night I mean it. Seemingly every turn the Devils made when he was on the ice resulted in Tkachuk landing a crushing hit to someone on their team. So much so in fact that Tkachuk set an NHL record for the most hits in a single game since the NHL started tracking hits.

Brady Tkachuk NHL record 16 hits against Devils

As if the hits weren't enough, the captain scored an electric goal on top of that to bring the Senators back within one and give them a chance to tie the game late.

NJD@OTT: Tkachuk scores goal against Jake Allen

5. Where to watch:

Tonight's game can be found live in English on TSN5 and in French on TVAS. Fans looking for the radio call can tune into TSN1200 and Unique FM 94,5 for the English and French calls respectively.