Senators vs. Capitals
Washington, DC - After a lackluster debut, Alex Ovechkin regrouped in the Washington Capitals home opener. He'll look to continue his offensive surge against a team which hasn't been able to contain him.
Washington will host the Ottawa Senators on Monday night in search of its second victory of the season.
Oddsmakers from online sports book SBGGLOBAL.com have made the Capitals –215 money line favorites for Monday's game against the Senators. Current MLB Public Betting Information shows that 67% of more than 628 bets for this game have been placed on the Capitals -215.
Ovechkin has 16 goals and 14 assists in 20 career games against the Senators, and he will look to add to that total when he takes the ice Monday night.
Ovechkin had two goals and an assist as Washington (1-1-0) won its ninth consecutive opener at the Verizon Center 7-2 over New Jersey on Saturday night.
"It's fun because we're winning," Ovechkin said. " It's always nice to win the first game in the home opener and I think it's a big step for us."
While bouncing back from a season-opening loss, the Capitals looked like the team that finished No. 1 in the Eastern Conference last season.
"We responded very well. We did a great job," said forward Mike Knuble. "I think we probably made a little bit of a statement after two games. I feel like we showed the league a little bit we're not quite the same team we were. I think we have a little bit of an edge here and we're a little harder to play against."
Defenseman John Carlson also provided a huge spark in the victory with a goal and two assists as the offense seems to be clicking on all cylinders.
"It's good to score any way," Washington coach Bruce Boudreau said. "Scoring goals is probably what we do best, and we want to make teams aware of that."
While Washington seems to have figured things out, Ottawa has yet to get it together.
The Senators (0-2-0) were outshot 38-18 in a 5-1 loss to Toronto on Saturday in which Pascal Leclaire allowed all five goals.
Ottawa captain and right wing Daniel Alfredsson knows that the defense will likely need to step up if the team plans to pick up its first win of the season.
"We're going to have to start from being better defensively, not allowing as many shots as we have the first two games," he said.
Senators coach Cory Clouston has not been pleased with his team's progress - the Senators are 0 for 10 on the power play and have been outshot 74-44 - and will be looking for a better effort.
"Very disappointing," he said. "We thought we had a pretty positive preseason, had a good week of practice. We've been out-worked, out-competed and out-executed in all areas right now."
First-line center Jason Spezza returned to action Saturday after he was held out of the season opener. He scored the Senators' only goal and looks to have fully recovered from the groin injury he sustained during practice last Wednesday.Washington is 7-2-3 against Ottawa over the last three seasons, but lost the last meeting 5-4 in overtime March 30.