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Boudreau: Capitals have a 'tiger by the tail' in Senators

The Capitals saw the good (vs. New Jersey) and the bad (vs. Atlanta) through their first two games of the 2010-11 season, but as they host Ottawa tonight for the third contest in four days, they'll have, as Coach Bruce Boudreau said, "a tiger by the tail" in the Senators.

Ottawa opened the year with two losses, the most recent an embarrassing 5-1 defeat at the hands of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the Senators are now trying to avoid going 0-3 and not earning a point in the first three contests of a season for the first time in their history.

But while the Senators may have been "trying to do things themselves" and "completely fragmented" as Coach Cory Clouston told reporters for the Toronto Sun and Ottawa Citizen after a practice at KCI Sunday, Boudreau expects them to come out with even more determination tonight.

"We've got a tiger by the tail today. We're going to have to play better than we did in both of those games to survive tonight," Boudreau said. "They were a playoff team last year that the last half of the year was as good as any team in the league. Good teams don't like losing. I think they had an off day yesterday that was canceled, so messages are being sent. They will be a very tough team to beat today, and if we're not at our best, good things won't happen."

The Capitals that played against the Devils looked like the team they knew they could be while honing in on all the systematic elements, particularly on defense, that didn't go as planned against Atlanta.

Going up against Senators forwards like Jason Spezza and Daniel Alfredsson, the Capitals know they need to sustain the momentum and keep improving their defensive efforts.

"We've got to tighten up even more against Ottawa," defenseman Jeff Schultz said. "They're so high powered up front that eliminating that time and space for them is crucial. We absolutely have to do it. Against Atlanta, I think so there are such high expectations, guys almost were trying to do too much out there. The first game it seemed like we were trying to prove to everybody where we should be. It's almost like you have to start fresh. We put those behind us [against New Jersey] and now we have to try to not let things like that happen again."

Unlike the Capitals' first two opponents this season who had undergone significant lineup alterations, this Senators team is very similar to the one that Washington opposed last season, with the exception of now having Sergei Gonchar on defense rather than Anton Volchenkov. But the same could be said about the Capitals.

Pavelec update
The Thrashers released the statement below on Ondrej Pavelec, who is expected to be medically cleared to play if a final battery of tests goes well following his collapse in Friday's season opener against the Capitals.

Ondrej Pavelec was released from the hospital yesterday following two days of testing. Preliminary results indicate Ondrej had a neurocardiogenic syncope episode (a type of fainting spell), which caused him to fall and hit his head on the ice, leading to the subsequent concussion and loss of consciousness. He was cleared to return home following a battery of testing on his heart and brain. For precautionary measures, he is undergoing further tests on his heart as well as blood and genetic testing this week. If all goes as expected, he will be medically cleared following those results and will be available to resume playing at the conclusion of any symptoms from his concussion.


By Katie Carrera  | October 11, 2010; 12:48 PM ET
Categories:  Ottawa Senators  
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Next: Travel advisory for Caps games this week

Comments

Good for Pavelec, that was pretty scary to watch.

Posted by: guer_j | October 11, 2010 1:00 PM | Report abuse

i have an extra ticket to tonight's game. section 411 row C seat 11, interested in it email me, i will give you a very very very very good price. margefrogirl2005 at aol dot com.

also Go Caps! let's demoralize the Sens by handing them their third loss, because we don't want to go 1-2.

Posted by: capsfan387 | October 11, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Eliminate turnovers in our zone and the neutral zone!

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 11, 2010 1:11 PM | Report abuse

Glad to hear the good news. Neuvirth said it was hard to focus after watching his fellow Czech friend collapse.

Regarding Ottawa vs Caps: This is the type of game that helps define team's seasons early on... a playoff team looking to not go 0-3... a serious cup contending team with question marks about consistency/ability to win big games...

personally, caps will win, based on Neuvirth's goaltending! Love this kid... more than Varly!

Posted by: FrankM73 | October 11, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan387

Little too late, or else I probably would take you up on it. 408-412 is my preferred section too.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 11, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

@capsfan387

Little too late, or else I probably would take you up on it. 408-412 is my preferred section too.

Posted by: richmondphil2 | October 11, 2010 1:18 PM | Report abuse

This is good to hear.

Posted by: CalleJoFan | October 11, 2010 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Play hard.

Play smart.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

mike ribeiro got arrested last night

Posted by: _stevo | October 11, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Last year, the Senators were a team the Caps had major trouble with. Kept losing high scoring games to them for some reason.

(I dreaded seeing them as a playoff opponent for the Caps, along with NJ and Montreal.)

Posted by: CapsFan75 | October 11, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

Ribiero's motto...

Party hard.

Party dumb.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 1:30 PM | Report abuse

Hey richphil,

Imagine Ribiero and Ovechkin in a mosh pit.

Ribiero jumps into Ovechkin.

Ribiero ends up on the floor 10 feet away.

Posted by: tmac2yao | October 11, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

From previous thread....capscoach, we'll agree to disagree on this one. I think I'm somewhere in the middle on this team but look forward to more games like the last one.

If people are off for Columbus day, Rangers and Isles have good one going on the Center Ice preview. Some jawing in the warms ups with, you guessed it, Sean Avery. These two teams hate each other, and it's fun to watch.

Posted by: Fletch22 | October 11, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

Sarge for President!

Seriously have you ever heard so many words coming out of Schultze's mouth?

Maybe he really wanted to talk Katie :))

"We've got to tighten up even more against Ottawa. They're so high powered up front that eliminating that time and space for them is crucial. We absolutely have to do it. Against Atlanta, I think so there are such high expectations, guys almost were trying to do too much out there. The first game it seemed like we were trying to prove to everybody where we should be. It's almost like you have to start fresh. We put those behind us [against New Jersey] and now we have to try to not let things like that happen again."

Is it he end of the world?

Posted by: CodePoetry | October 11, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

it's good that at least boudreau takes every opponent seriously. now if we can get the rest of the team to do that...

Posted by: j762 | October 11, 2010 2:54 PM | Report abuse

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