NHL

Senators look for much needed win against Capitals

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The Sports Network
1/29/2013 11:14:37 AM
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(Sports Network) - While the Washington Capitals are trying to build off their first victory, the Ottawa Senators will attempt to get back on track in tonight's clash at Scotiabank Place. 

Ottawa began the season 3-0, but has since dropped consecutive games against Tampa Bay and Pittsburgh. Senators' centre Jason Spezza is out with an upper-body injury.

After losing Friday evening in Tampa, the Sens returned home to lose a shootout decision Sunday against the Penguins. Evgeni Malkin's goal in the third round of the shootout was the decisive score and lifted Pittsburgh to the 2-1 triumph in Canada's capital city.

Sidney Crosby and James Neal each scored to start the shootout before Malkin slipped a backhand under the pads of Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson to send the Penguins to victory.

Colin Greening tallied Ottawa's only goal and Anderson registered 33 saves in the setback.

"Tough loss tonight, but the boys were solid in front of me and every point counts," Anderson remarked.

Sunday's tilt began a three-game homestand for Ottawa, which is 1-0-1 as the host this season.

The Senators recalled Mika Zibanejad from their AHL affiliate in Binghamton on Monday and he could play against the Capitals. Zibanejad, the sixth overall pick of the 2011 draft, had one assist in a nine-game stint with Ottawa in 2011-12.

The Capitals opened the campaign with an 0-3-1 record before notching a win Sunday against the visiting Buffalo Sabres. The victory also gave head coach Adam Oates his first win as an NHL bench boss.

Alex Ovechkin scored his first goal of the season on Sunday and it proved to be the game-winner as Washington posted a 3-2 victory over the Sabres. Ovechkin, who had a career-low 65 points in 2011-12, has one goal and one assist in five games this season. He has 18 goals and 34 points in 26 career games against Ottawa.

Joel Ward added a goal and an assist, while John Erskine also lit the lamp for the Capitals. Michal Neuvirth turned aside 22 shots in the winning effort.

"Today, I thought we played a pretty complete game," Capitals forward Jason Chimera said. "Neuvy (Neuvirth) played really well for us; he made some big saves for us. The power play got us one, which is huge; Ovi (Ovechkin) got one, which is huge for us."

Washington avoided losing five games to start the season for the first time since going 0-6-0 to begin the 1993-94 campaign.

Washington won three of four meetings against the Sens in the 2011-12 and the Capitals have claimed six of eight overall in this series. Ottawa has posted wins in two of its last three home tests against the Caps.

Senators celebrate (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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