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NHL Preview from The Sports Network



Monday, December 30th (All times Eastern)

Washington Capitals (20-14-5) at Ottawa Senators (16-18-7), 7:30 p.m.

(SportsNetwork.com) - The Ottawa Senators take aim at their first winning streak in nearly two months as they play host on Monday night to the Washington Capitals.

The Sens picked up just their second victory in six games on Saturday, besting the visiting Boston Bruins by a 4-3 margin to split a home-and-home set. Ottawa was pounded 5-0 in Boston on Friday.

Bobby Ryan scored the go-ahead goal for the Sens, finishing off a breakaway with 4:35 to play on a backhander under the crossbar. It came not too long after the Bruins had a potential go-ahead goal waved off when it was ruled Jarome Iginla had intentionally kicked the puck into the net.

"There weren't that many chances in the third," said Ryan. "Truthfully I was just hoping that was going to be the game-winner."

Zack Smith, Patrick Wiercioch and Cory Conacher also tallied for the Senators, who got 29 saves from Craig Anderson.

Ottawa played without forward Jason Spezza (lower body) and defenseman Chris Phillips (foot) and both are day-to-day.

The Sens hope to cap December by winning two straight for the first time since a three-game win streak from Nov. 5-9. They can do so by claiming a sixth straight victory over the Capitals.

Ottawa notched a 6-4 win at Washington on Nov. 27 in the first of three meetings this season. Ryan scored twice and Anderson made 29 saves as the Caps failed to hold a 3-1 first-period lead.

The Sens have won three straight and eight of their past 10 at home versus the Capitals.

Washington will play on the road for a second straight night after dropping a 2-1 shootout decision to the Buffalo Sabres on Sunday. Troy Brouwer had a goal for the Capitals, but the Sabres' Ryan Miller stopped all six skaters he faced in regulation.

Philipp Grubauer, meanwhile, made 16 saves through overtime and turned aside the first five he faced in the tiebreaker before Buffalo's Steve Ott blasted a shot over his right shoulder.

Washington fell to 1-1-2 in its last four games despite outshooting Buffalo 50-17.

"Miller was playing well and we feel like we deserved to win tonight but you encounter some games that just don't go your way, " said Brouwer.

Washington's Alex Ovechkin finished with a season-high 12 shots, but has gone without a goal in three straight for the first time this season.

12/30 10:31:24 ET