The Washington Capitals (30-14-3-63, first in Southeast, second in East) face the Ottawa Senators (15-21-7-37, fifth in Northeast, 13th in East) at 7:30 pm from Scotiabank Place.

The Caps have had a history this season of playing up--and down--to their competition, and yesterday afternoon against the league-worst New York Islanders was no exception. In a game defined by bouncing pucks and lacking energy, Alex Ovechkin hoisted his team on his back and scored twice, including the game winner 1:46 into overtime.

Ovechkin made up for a previous mistake, taking a delay of game penalty late in regulation, allowing the Islanders Kyle Okposo to tie the game on a five-on-three advantage.

The goals were Ovechkin's 30th and 31st of the season, and momentarily pushes him into the NHL goal scoring lead, one goal ahead of Philadelphia's Jeff Carter.

Washington has now won three games in a row and 16 of its last 21 games.

Ottawa has struggled this season, as their divisional last place status would attest to. Despite the struggles, however, this team remains dangerous and capable. Ottawa enters play tonight with a 2-0-1 record in its last three games, having scored 12 goals in that span.

The Senators are led by all-star Dany Heatley (19-22-41, minus-3) and former all-stars Daniel Alfredsson (12-28-40, plus-2) and Jason Spezza (18-19-37, minus-5). Filip Kuba is Ottawa's blue line leader, with one goal and 23 assists, and he is their plus-minus leader at plus-11.

Alex Auld is getting the lion's share of work in goal for the Senators. For the season, he is 9-11-8 with a 2.64 goals against average, and .907 save percentage in 25 games. The backup is Brian Elliot (2-1-2, 2.22, .921 in four games).

Washington coach Bruce Boudreau plans to start Jose Theodore (17-8-2, 2.80, .897) tonight, wiht recent recall Daren Machesney serving as the backup. Theodore notched his 200th career victory in the win over New York yesterday.

Michael Nylander and Eric Fehr will be healthy scratches tonight, with David Steckel returning to the lineup.

WAS: PP-5th (23.2%, 46/198); PK-22nd (79.6%, 45/221)
OTT: PP-15th (17.9%, 32/179); PK-14th (81.9%, 33/182)

WAS: D Brian Pothier (Concussion-OUT); D Tom Poti (Groin-IR); RW Boyd Gordon (Back-probable); Shaone Morrison (Lower body- Day to Day)

OTT: C Cody Bass (Shoulder-IR); RW Shean Donovan (Lower-body-Out); RW Chris Neil (Flu-Questionable); D Anton Volchenkov (Shoulder-Questionable)