After the fireworks of Saturday night's heated win over the New Jersey Devils finally started to smolder, the Capitals started looking ahead to tonight's opponent - the Ottawa Senators. But before we look at tonight's contest, here's an interesting factoid related back to the brouhaha on Saturday: Washington earned four fighting majors and 40 penalty minutes in Saturday’s game. The Capitals only hit the 40-PIM mark twice all of last season and finished with 20 fighting majors for the year, the second fewest in the NHL. Here's another nice little fist pump from The Hockey Writers on the Capitals' tougher and more cohesive style that's emerged this season.
And the Devils' rookie-jumping goon who was behind the major fracas, Pierre-Luc Letourneau LeBlond, not only bought himself a one-game suspension with his tomfoolery, but according to TSN's Bob McKenzie, the team also put him on waivers. For more on the waiver process, check out The Blonde Girl's Guide for everything you ever wanted to know about the NHL waiver process. We can only hope that #22 is not in the minors when these two teams meet again in November as I can almost assure you that big boy D.J. King will be dressed and ready to rumble.
And back to our regularly scheduled program: Tonight's game against the Ottawa Senators.
The boys are are 7-2-3 against Ottawa over the last three seasons while the Senators are off to a shaky start at 0-2. Alexander Semin recorded five goals and six points in three games against the Senators last season while Michal Neuvirth is scheduled to make his first career start tonight against the Sens.
Ottawa fell to the Maple Leafs by a 5-1 final on Saturday night and will be without the services of defenseman Filip Kuba. They have however, added a face on the blueline familiar to Capitals faithful in the form of one Sergei Gonchar. Chris Kelly and Jason Spezza are the only two Senators who've tallied a goal this young season, while Mr. Carrie Underwood (Mike Fisher) has not yet made a notch on the scoresheet. Here's a preview from the Ottawa Citizen on tonight's action. On the other side of the ice, Bruce Boudreau is expected to go with the same lines that saw such smashing success on Saturday night. Puck drops at 7 p.m.
And some other good news to report, after collapsing during Friday night's game against the Caps, Atlanta goalie Ondrej Pavelec has been released from the hospital. Kukla's Korner published a statement from the Thrashers organization as well as Pavelec himself this morning. I know that all hockey fans join me in wishing him continued strength and hope to see him back in net soon!
Saturday night I tweeted how much I love the Capitals new opening video! If you haven't gotten down to the Phone Booth yet this season, this one will get you good and fired up - a Hockey Mom fist pump to the Caps for including members of the Capital region's various awesome youth hockey teams in this star-studded line up: