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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Monday, March 8th (All times eastern)

Ottawa Senators (36-18-9-5) at Washington Capitals (21-37-8-2), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Ottawa Senators try to grab the Northeast Division lead all to themselves tonight when they visit the Washington Capitals at the MCI Center.

The game will mark Peter Bondra's first against his old team, after playing 13+ seasons with the Capitals. He was traded to Ottawa as part of Washington's firesale on February 18 in exchange for center Brooks Laich and a second-round pick in the 2005 entry draft.

Entering the day's action, the Sens, with 86 points, are tied with Toronto for the top spot in the Northeast -- one ahead of Boston. They trail second-place Philadelphia by two points in the Eastern Conference and first-place Tampa Bay by four.

On Saturday, a night after a brawl-laden defeat in Philadelphia, Ottawa ended a two-game losing streak with a 4-2 win against visiting Nashville. Bondra scored midway through the third period to snap a tie and help lead the Sens.

Bondra finished with a goal and an assist for the Senators, who squandered a 2-0 lead before winning for the second time in six games (2-3-1). Ottawa head coach Jacques Martin earned his 400th career coaching victory in the NHL.

Mike Fisher, Peter Schaefer and Marian Hossa also scored for Ottawa, while Martin Prusek made 25 saves in the win. Alfredsson finished with two assists for the Senators.

Ottawa, which has lost three straight on the road, kicks off a five-game trip tonight and will visit Calgary on Thursday.

Washington, meanwhile, continues its preparation for an early offseason, but hopes to play spoiler down the stretch. On Saturday the Caps posted a 2-1 decision over Philadelphia to snap a three-game losing streak.

Jeff Halpern finished with a goal and an assist to lead Washington's effort. Olaf Kolzig made 24 saves and Anson Carter scored on the power play for the Capitals, who moved to 2-5-1 in its last eight games. Kip Miller notched two assists.

Washington, 1-3-1 in its last five home contests, will host Buffalo on Wednesday.

The Senators are 2-0-1 against the Capitals this season, and are 5-1-2 in the last eight meetings overall.

Ottawa is 3-0-2 in its last five trips to DC.

03/08 10:50:27 ET

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