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Senators, Capitals battle for needed victory
(SportsNetwork.com) - A couple of struggling teams will fight for a much- needed win on Wednesday, as the Washington Capitals host the Ottawa Senators in a clash at Verizon Center.
The Capitals currently are on a three-game slide, matching the club's longest losing streak of the season. Ottawa, meanwhile, has lost four of its past five games, continuing the Senators season-long battle with inconsistency.
After making the playoffs in each of the past two springs, the Senators are off to a disappointing 9-11-4 start to the 2013-14 season. Ottawa snapped a three-game slide by beating Detroit on Saturday to open a three-game road trip on a positive note, but then lost a 4-1 decision the following day at Carolina.
Ottawa fired 36 shots at Cam Ward on Sunday, but the Hurricanes goaltender turned aside 35 of them to help Carolina subdue the Sens. Jason Spezza had the lone goal of the game for Ottawa, while Robin Lehner allowed three goals on 36 shots in the loss.
"Right now, we don't play hard enough to win," Senators head coach Paul MacLean said. "We don't play long enough to win consistently."
MacLean hopes his club's recent performances against the Capitals will translate into a win on Wednesday. Ottawa has claimed four straight in this series, although Washington has take 11 of the past 13 encounters in D.C.
The Senators could be without defenseman Mark Borowiecki tonight after he injured his neck following a hit from Carolina's Kevin Westgarth on Sunday. Westgarth received a minor boarding penalty on the play and was suspended two games for the hit.
Borowiecki, who has one goal in 11 games this season, is questionable for Wednesday's tilt.
Washington had lost two straight in regulation before earning a point in Saturday's shootout loss at Toronto. The Capitals were held to one goal despite firing 50 shots at Maple Leafs goaltender James Reimer through regulation and overtime.
Alex Ovechkin scored the lone goal for the Capitals late in regulation and became the first player to 20 goals this season. Alexander Steen of St. Louis is second to Ovechkin in scoring this season with 19 markers.
"I think we played a good defensive game tonight," said Ovechkin. "But we just couldn't get any rebounds, and when we did we didn't take advantage. Still, it was a good game and we got a point on the road."
Braden Holtby stopped 27-of-28 shots in Washington's third straight loss. Holtby expects to get the start tonight and has only faced the Senators once in his career, losing a 3-1 decision in Ottawa on April 18 of last season.
Craig Anderson figures to get the start for Ottawa on Wednesday. He is 8-5-1 with a 2.42 goals against average in 14 lifetime games versus Washington.
11/27 11:12:06 ET
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