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Capitals Take On Ottawa Senators In Early-Season Clash

(Sports Network) - Last year's season series between the Capitals and Senators was a high-scoring affair that featured over 30 combined goals. However, only one of those teams has shown so far this year it can keep the offense going.

Following a seven-goal outburst that gave the club its first win of the season, Washington tonight welcomes winless Ottawa to the Verizon Center.

The Capitals captured the Presidents' Trophy last season with 121 points, but they lost three of four a season ago to the Senators, though two of those losses came in overtime. Ottawa posted a 5-4 overtime victory in the final meeting on March 30 at Verizon Center to snap a seven-game series road losing streak.

The two clubs combined to score 34 goals against each other a season ago. Alexander Semin paced Washington with five goals and an assist, while Jason Spezza led the Senators with three goals and four helpers.

The Capitals' Alex Ovechkin has 16 goals and 30 points in 20 career games versus the Sens, but scored just once against them last year. He also had five assists in the season series.

Ovechkin scored his first two goals of the season on Saturday and also notched an assist in a 7-2 victory over the Devils. Ovechkin's three-point night also featured his second career penalty-shot tally and came one night after his team dropped a 4-2 decision in Atlanta.

"I think everybody played bad [Friday]," Ovechkin said. "[Saturday], we moved our legs and finished our checks, played better in the neutral zone and the defensive zone. This was a pretty big step for us."

New Jersey native John Carlson added a goal and two assists for the Capitals, who won their ninth straight home opener and play the middle test of a three- game homestand tonight. Michal Neuvirth, who has never before faced the Senators, made 31 saves to beat the Devils.

Ottawa comes into this game having scored just two goals on the season. The Sens dropped a 2-1 home decision against the Sabres on Friday before getting routed, 5-1 in Toronto the following night.

Spezza, who missed Friday's game with a groin injury, had the lone goal and Pascal Leclaire gave up five goals on 38 shots faced.

"We've got to improve our game," said Ottawa head coach Cory Clouston. "If we don't compete harder than we did and don't skate harder it's going to be a tough season, but it's early and there's plenty of time."

While Leclaire is 0-2-0 with a 3.50 goals-against average in his career when facing the Capitals, Brian Elliott is 4-0-0 with a 4.03 GAA in five starts against them.