Washington Capitals vs. Ottawa Senators Pick & Prediction FEBRUARY 26th 2024


In pursuit of a playoff spot, the Washington Capitals already have little room for error, so cooling off the surging Ottawa Senators is essential for the host Capitals on Monday night.

Washington has some work to do to move into a wild-card spot in the Eastern Conference. The Capitals had won three in a row before failing to hold a late 2-1 lead during Saturday’s 3-2 overtime loss at Florida.

“We know how valuable points are,” said Washington’s Max Pacioretty, who has three assists in the past four games.

“We don’t have time to sit back and worry (about Saturday’s loss). We’ve got to focus on the process and trying to win the next game.”

The Capitals also need a better performance than the last time they faced the Senators, which resulted in a 6-1 loss at Ottawa on Oct. 18. And, though the Senators are further down the East standings than Washington, they’re amid an impressive 3-0-1 stretch overall and a 4-1-1 run on the road.

After also losing 3-2 in overtime at Florida on Feb. 20, the Senators returned home to win 4-1 over Central Division-leading Dallas. They then pulled out a 4-3 shootout victory over the reigning Stanley Cup-champion Vegas Golden Knights on Saturday.

“We had two big games here at home and we knew we were facing two big teams and we showed up to the test and played good hockey,” said Ottawa defenseman Thomas Chabot, who has three goals and two assists in the past three games.

“We know how to play, and we’ve been doing that now for a couple games. At the end of the day, it’s just sticking to it.”

Ottawa has also recorded at least four goals six times during its current 7-2-1 stretch. Meanwhile, Senators netminder Anton Forsberg features a 2.21 goals-against average during his current four-game winning streak.

“I feel like I’ve had a pretty decent run here,” said Forsberg, who topped 23 of 24 shots against the Capitals earlier this season. “I feel more comfortable in my game. I’m having a lot of fun out there right now.

“I bet all the guys are having fun. Everything goes hand in hand, right?”

Perhaps it’s not all fun for Forsberg’s net mate Joonas Korpisalo, who has a 3.67 GAA while losing his past three starts.

Washington’s Charlie Lindgren, who made 26 saves against the Panthers, owns a 2.62 goals-against average and .920 save percentage while starting the past three games. Teammate Darcy Kuemper (3.16 GAA) has yielded three goals in each of his past three starts and gave up all six on 29 shots faced against the Senators in October.

Caps superstar Alex Ovechkin had his 10-game point streak snapped Saturday. However, he’s posted nine goals and six assists during his past 10 games versus Ottawa.

The Senators’ own veteran star Claude Giroux has three goals with seven assists during an eight-game point streak.

Giroux and Vladimir Tarasenko each had a goal with an assist, Josh Norris scored twice, and Chabot and Tim Stutzle combined for five assists in the season’s first meeting with Washington.

-Field Level Media

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