Game 27: Capitals look to put everything together against Sens
The Washington Capitals (12-11-1) haven't played bad under new coach Dale Hunter, but they haven't played well either.
Despite the 1-3 record under their new boss, the Capitals just want to show what they can do when they execute in all aspects of the game, offensively, defensively and in goal.
Caps defenseman Dennis Wideman said it best after practice on Tuesday, "We haven’t been able to put a game together where we get good goaltending, the [defense] plays well and we score goals in a long time."
"We’re not putting everything together right now.”
Under Hunter's lead, the Caps have lost three one-goal games against surging St. Louis, red-hot Pittsburgh and Southeast-leading Florida. A few bounces the other way and that record could be 3-1 under Hunter.
So it's not all bad in Washington.
But what is bad, is the play of superstar Alexander Ovechkin, who is marred in a season-long coma. The Great 8 has just one goal in his past 12 games. Even when he wasn't scoring goals last season he was still putting up assists, but he has just five in his past 12 games. The Caps need more out of their go-to-guy going forward, period.
The Caps' lone win under Hunter did, however, against the same Ottawa Senators (13-11-3) they'll face at Scotiabank Place on Saturday.
Brooks Laich gave Hunter his first win as an NHL bench boss with an overtime winner in that game just 12 seconds into the extra frame.
The Senators, widely projected to finish dead-last in the East, have surprised early on this season with 29 points and in a battle for the bottom spot in the playoff picture.
Their early season success can be attributed to the teams top line of Daniel Alfredsson, Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek, who is second in the league with 16 goals. Spezza is enjoying a bounce-back year for the Sens with 25 points in 27 games.
For the Caps, nobody is hotter than forward Jason Chimera, who is enjoying his own career-year, with 11 goals and a plus 10 rating in 26 games this season. Chimera's career-high for goals came in the '05-06 season in Columbus with 17, he's on pace for 34 this season.
Tomas Vokoun figures to get the nod in net for the Caps on the road after Michal Neuvrith was shelled on Monday in Florida. Vokoun is 10-7-0 on the season with a .909 SV % and a 2.72 GAA.
Craig Anderson, who has given up three or more goals in five of his last six starts, will get the nod in between the pipes for the Sens.