Gameday Journal presented by Monarch Homes: Game 25 — Senators vs. Capitals
4:45 PM: With Canada's capital team visiting America's capital team, Sens TV quizzed Cornell grad Colin Greening on world capitals. He fared well. Take a look...
4:30 PM: Marc Methot talked about the challenge of taking on Alexander Ovechkin. Here's what he had to say...
On what he expects from Ovechkin:
He's a very opportunistic kind of guy. He'll kind of wait around sometimes and wait for an opportunity to make one of those fantastic breakaways that he's able to do and he'll cheat sometimes. He's very unpredictable so a guy like him you really do have to keep a pretty good eye on him and make sure that you're not giving him those key chances around the net because he can shoot just as good as anyone in the league, I believe. Especially on the power play we've got to be aware of where he's at, but he's a dynamic guy and you've got to respect that.
On the challenge of playing him:
I love it, it gets you up for a game. They're certainly not easy challenges, this guy has been scoring almost every game apparently so he's doing something right. It takes that much effort from all the guys on the ice, all the guys have got to be aware of where he is and we've got to help each other out.
On maintaining the gap:
Gap is huge, we've got to close in on all of those guys. Any time you're playing a great player in this league and you don't have the gap you're allowing him way too much time to make a nice play or get a clean shot off so that's something that, like I've said before, it's not easy to do but if you can maintain that gap as much as possible and eliminate time and space you'll be alright.
4:15 PM: Here's Chris Phillips on the challenge posed by the Capitals and the road ahead...
On tonight's game:
It's a good test in front of us and there's no better place for us to turn it around than tonight against a team that's playing well. Ovechkin's hot right now, he's finding the back of the net. It's a great challenge for us to step up to, to try and shut him down and keep him off the scoresheet. That obviously gives us a better chance of winning but moreso than that, a big boost of confidence for the back end and this team defensively.
On keeping the room loose:
It's a really fine line of making sure that we're still having fun and enjoying ourselves, but at the same time we need to practice hard and we need to be better. No matter how things go out there things are going to turn around a lot quicker and going our way if we're, like I said, having fun and being positive as opposed to having your head down and questioning everything that you're doing or how everything is going. It makes it tough to come out of a hole that way.
3:30 PM: Joe Corvo draws back into the lineup tonight. Here's what he had to say about the challenge...
3:00 PM: Here's what Paul MacLean had to say ahead of tonight's game...
On tonight's lineup:
Craig Anderson is the goaltender and we're going to hold Mark Borowiecki out of the game today mostly for precautionary reasons. He seems like he's ready to go but he's still a little bit stiff so we want to give him an opportunity to healed and not seize up so we'd be down to five D tonight possibly in the game tonight, so we're going to hold Mark out and put Joe Corvo in and give him an opportunity to bring a veteran presence and give us a hand.
On Corvo's veteran presence:
Well Joe has been a real professional through the whole thing. When we signed him we knew that he was going to be in the sixth, seventh spot and he understands that but he has kept himself ready to go and now we need him to step him and play. Just have himself a game, we're not expecting him to come and do anything he's not supposed to do. Just come in and give us a solid game.
On rolling four lines:
That's what the plan is, we're going to see how the game goes from this point. With back-to-back games we'd like to manage the minutes as best as we can but the bottom line is we need to win the game.
On if you can shut down Ovechkin or slow him down:
Well I'm not sure, you can only decide that at the end of the game when you look at the stat sheet whether you did or not. We're going to try to make it as difficult as we can for him to get the opportunities he's used to having. We're going to have to make him work for his opportunities. Really make him work and not giving him anything that's easy.
On trying to match up on the road:
It'll be more for — and I think with the shift length he (Ovechkin) has — you need to have multiple lines and multiple pairs that'll play against him because his shift length sometimes isn't — you know, it's not in the 30 second range normally. In the past we've tried to use two lines and two sets of D against him and make sure we have at least one of them available.
MacArthur - Turris - Ryan
Michalek - Spezza - Zibanejad
Conacher - Smith - Neil
Condra - Grant - Greening
Methot - Karlsson
Phillips - Corvo
Cowen - Wiercioch
Johansson - Backstrom - Ovechkin
Fehr - Grabovski - Brouwer
Chimera - Laich - Ward
Volpatti - Latta - Wilson
Alzner - Carlson
Schmidt - Strachan
Urbom - Green
The Sens are coming off of an up-and-down weekend which saw them split games in Detroit and Carolina. After a 4-2 win over the Red Wings on Saturday night, the Sens couldn't stay consistent and dropped a 4-1 decision to the Hurricanes on Sunday afternoon. This is their first meeting with the Caps this season.
The Capitals currently sit second in the Metropolitan division behind the Pittsburgh Penguins with a record of 12-10-2. They were last in action on Saturday when they dropped a 2-1 shootout game to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Sens will hit the ice for a morning skate at the Verizon Center and I'll have plenty of updates to follow including, but not limited to, lineup changes, players' thoughts on tonight's game, Sens TV updates, Instagram goodness and more.
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