In the first game since trading their top three forwards, the Ottawa Senators were slammed into their new reality against the defending Stanley Cup Champions.
On ice, it appeared to be boys against men, as the Washington Capitals easily defeated the young Senators 7-2 on Tuesday at Capital One Arena. This was Ottawa’s fifth consecutive loss.
After a great start in the opening 15 minutes, the inexperienced Senators dissolved as the Capitals materialized into their formidable form. Washington stormed back from an early two-goal deficit to score seven of their own for the win.
Ottawa’s two goals were courtesy of newcomers Oscar Lindberg and Anthony Duclair. Washington’s scorers included Tom Wilson, Lars Eller, John Carlson, TJ Oshie, Brett Connolly, and Evgeny Kuznetsov. Oshie added a second on a Capitals power play, which was one-for-one in this match.
After the loss, Ottawa remains dead last in the NHL. Their record is 22-36-5 and they remain beached on 49 points. The next closest opponent is the Los Angeles Kings, who are four points ahead. Washington’s win boosts their record to 36-21-7 and 79 points. They rank fifth in the Eastern Conference and seventh in the NHL.
Despite the team’s loss, it was a decent game for all three of Ottawa’s newest roster additions. Lindberg, Duclair, and Brian Gibbons were all acquired in the past week prior to the trade deadline in separate trades.
Lindberg came from the Vegas Golden Knights as part of the deal for Mark Stone. Duclair came over from the Columbus Blue Jackets as part of the Ryan Dzingel trade. While Gibbons was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks for Patrick Sieloff.
In their Senator debuts, Lindberg played 14:33 and scored his goal on his first shot in an Ottawa uniform. He also won his faceoffs 50 percent of the time. Meanwhile, Gibbons ice time was 13:54. He recorded one assist, two shots, and two blocks. Duclair, playing his second game as a Senator, had 15:35 ice time and scored his first wearing the red, black, and white. The 23-year-old’s goal was his 12th of the year and 20th point of the season. It came on the Senators power play, which was a perfect one-for-one in this game.
The Washington Capitals did well spreading their offense throughout the line-up in this match. In total, six different players scored goals, while 12 different players registered at least one point. Impressively, eight of these 12 players enjoyed a two-point night. This included Wilson (1G, 1A), Eller (1G, 1A) , Oshie (2G), Connolly (1G, 1A), Kuznetsov (1G, 1A), Alex Ovechkin (2A), Nicklas Backstrom (2A), and Dmitry Orlov (2A). Overall, the home team outshot the visiting Senators 37-23.
Oddly, although Ovechkin is on a torrent again this year in the goal scoring department, he has zero against the Senators in three games. After this game, he will not get another chance in 2018-19. These two teams have completed their season series against each other. While Ovechkin was scoreless, the Senators were winless against the Capitals this season. Washington dominated, going 3-0-0, outscoring Ottawa 14-4 in the process. Amazingly, the legendary Russian sniper has 44 goals in just 62 games played so far.
Official 3 Stars of the Game
- TJ Oshie, Washington
- Lars Eller, Washington
- Nicklas Backstrom, Washington
The Senators will return home to take on the Edmonton Oilers at Canadian Tire Centre on Thursday. Edmonton is 26-29-7 and have 59 points. They are seven points away from a Wild Card spot in the Western Conference. Connor McDavid has completed serving his two-game suspension for an illegal check to the head on New York Islanders Nick Leddy.
Cover Photo Credit: Nick Wass / Associated Press
Billy Morrison covers the Ottawa Senators and the Atlantic Division for Full Press Coverage. Follow Billy on Twitter, @BillyMorrison01.