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Ottawa Senators vs. Washington Capitals - 12/30/13

Washington Capitals (20-14-5) at Ottawa Senators (16-18-7)

NHL Hockey: Monday, December 30, 2013 at 7:30 pm (Canadian Tire Centre)

The Line: Ottawa Senators -142 / Washington Capitals +129 --- Over/Under: 5.5 See the Latest Odds

TV: RDS, CSN-DC+, SNET-E

Alex Ovechkin leads the Washington Capitals into Ottawa to take on the Senators at the Canadian Tire Centre on Monday night.

It looks as if the Senators will have to play without captain Jason Spezza, who sat out on Saturday against the Bruins. Despite the absence of Spezza, the Senators managed to squeak out the home win against the top Eastern Conference team. The victory came thanks to two goals by Bobby Ryan, including the game winner with less than five minutes remaining. Craig Anderson is the probably starter in net for Ottawa. Anderson has won nine of his 12 career starts against the Capitals, and he holds a 2.49 GAA against the Eastern Conference foe.

Ottawa Senators vs. Washington Capitals - 12/30/13

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Washington will be looking to avenge a 6-4 loss to Ottawa in late November. The Caps will turn to the young Philipp Grubauer once again, while Braden Holtby will remain a spectator. Grubauer is 5-1-2 in December, and coach Adam Oates simply attributes his playing time to a hot hand. Grubauer certainly did his part in Washington’s last outing, but the Capitals failed to finish in a 2-1 shootout loss to one of the Eastern Conference bottom feeders, the Buffalo Sabres, a game in which the team totaled 50 shots on goal. A big issue seems to be the lack of scoring by Alex Ovechkin, who has gone three games without a goal.

The Capitals are just 2-8 in the last 10 meetings between these two teams in Ottawa, and 0-5 in the last five meetings overall. Neither team has played a particularly great brand of hockey coming into Monday night’s tilt, but Washington is in the thick of things for a playoff spot while Ottawa is currently an outlier. I think that the Caps have a little extra motivation after losing to Ottawa at home a month ago. It’s more of a lean, but I do see Washington bouncing back from a loss to Buffalo with a win here.

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Washington Capitals +129

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