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NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Tuesday, January 21st (All times Eastern)
Ottawa Senators (21-19-9) at Washington Capitals (22-19-8), 7 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Washington Capitals will try to snap their longest losing streak in over three years when they welcome the Ottawa Senators for Tuesday's meeting at Verizon Center.
Washington has lost five straight games (0-3-2) for the first time since an 0-6-2 stretch from Dec. 2-18, 2010 and the club also has dropped nine of its last 11 contests.
The Caps may have to end their losing streak without their top player in the lineup, as superstar forward Alex Ovechkin will be a game-time decision due to a lower-body injury.
On Tuesday, the Capitals face an Ottawa team that has won six straight in this series, including the first two of three scheduled meetings in 2013-14. Ottawa notched a 6-4 win in Washington on Nov. 27 and recorded a 3-1 home victory on Dec. 30. The Senators have won the last two encounters at the Verizon Center, but Washington still has 11 wins in the last 14 meetings in D.C.
The Capitals have dropped their last three tilts in regulation and have been outscored by a 9-2 margin in their last two outings. After losing 5-1 in Columbus on Friday, Washington was handed a 4-1 setback in Sunday's road test against the New York Rangers. Rick Nash scored two goals for the Rangers, who jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the opening period and cruised to the victory.
Ovechkin potted the lone goal for Washington, pushing his league-leading total to 35 markers. However, Philipp Grubauer gave up three goals on eight shots before being removed late in the first period.
"It's not the way I wanted it to go," Grubauer said. "It's my job to stop the puck, and I didn't stop it today."
Braden Holtby turned aside 17 shots in relief as the Caps fell to 8-11-4 as the road team this season.
Washington is home for just one game before closing the month of January on a five-game road trip. The Caps are 14-8-4 as the host this season.
Ottawa has lost two straight after going 6-0-1 in its previous seven outings. Just like Washington, the Senators fell 4-1 to the Rangers in their last game, although Ottawa's loss came on home ice. Derek Stepan posted a goal and two assists to lead the visiting Blueshirts to the win at Canadian Tire Centre.
Marc Methot had the only goal of the game for the Senators, while Craig Anderson allowed all four goals on 31 shots.
"Obviously tonight we didn't get the job done," said Anderson. "Guys would like to fix their mistakes, but there's nothing that can be done about this one, we just have to come back tomorrow and get back to work."
Anderson will get the start again for the Senators on Tuesday. He is 10-5-1 with a 2.43 goals against average in 16 career games against Washington.
Ottawa has won two straight and three of four on the road and is kicking off a four-game swing on Tuesday. The Sens are 10-8-4 as the visiting team this season.
01/21 11:05:37 ET