Senators try for third straight win, take on ‘pressing’ Capitals

The Ottawa Senators will aim for their third straight win when they host the Washington Capitals on Wednesday night.

Ottawa opened a five-game homestand with a pair of 5-2 wins against the Philadelphia Flyers and Tampa Bay Lightning over the weekend.

Washington begins a brief two-game Canada swing after splitting a pair of home games. After being blanked by the Pittsburgh Penguins on opening night, the Capitals rallied from a 2-0 deficit to defeat the Calgary Flames 3-2 in a shootout Monday night.

Senators star Brady Tkachuk scored twice for the second straight game and had an assist against the Lightning on Sunday.

“Two games of playing our type of hockey,” Tkachuk said. “That’s just been our goal. We don’t care about wins or losses, it’s just how quickly we get to our game. I think we’ve shown that we’re starting to find it now, and I think we’re going to keep building on it.”

Joonas Korpisalo made 22 saves and Vladimir Tarasenko, who signed with Senators in July, scored his first goal of the season. Tarasenko split last season between the St. Louis Blues and New York Rangers, producing 18 goals and 32 assists in 69 games.

“There’s always pressure,” Tarasenko said. “When a new season begins, you try to score. It’s my first season and I’m starting with a new team. All my family came a few days ago, so it’s a big moment, I’m not going to lie.”

Ottawa’s lineup may get a boost with the return of forward Josh Norris, who has been out since the middle of last season with a shoulder injury. Norris took on a larger role at practice Tuesday, including working with the first power-play unit.

Washington travels to Ottawa in search of improved offense. Before rallying Monday night, the Capitals were outshot 18-3 in the first period and ultimately went 86:50 before scoring their first goal of the season. They scored twice to force overtime and ultimately netted the only tally of the shootout to get new head coach Spencer Carbery his first NHL win.

“It wasn’t comfortable for 65 minutes plus the shootout,” Carbery said. “I felt like maybe that just kind of lifts, I don’t know, a little bit of weight because it just feels like at times we’re just pressing and trying to make something happen and it has gone haywire for us at times.”

The Capitals were outshot 40-23 by the Flames. Alex Ovechkin did not register a shot on goal in five attempts. Carbery shook up the lines at practice Tuesday, moving center Dylan Strome and winger Tom Wilson up with Ovechkin while moving center Nicklas Backstrom and winger T.J. Oshie down.

“I thought our best line has been Strome’s line through the first two games analytically and production-wise and sustained pressure-wise,” Carbery said. “You break that up potentially, which you’re robbing Peter to pay Paul a little bit, but we think we just need to change that mix a little bit.”

Backup goalie Charlie Lindgren (upper-body injury) won’t travel with the team and Clay Stevenson, called up Monday from AHL affiliate Hershey, will serve as the backup.