for this game

Caps try to end slide in home test vs. Sens

Jan 16, 2011 - 4:06 PM (Sports Network) - The Washington Capitals hope to put the brakes on a three- game losing streak when they welcome the struggling Ottawa Senators for today's battle at the Verizon Center.

The Capitals, who are second in the Southeast Division with 55 points, have posted an 0-2-1 record over their last three outings to give Washington its first losing streak since an eight-game skid from Dec. 2-18.

Washington suffered its most recent loss Friday night against the visiting Vancouver Canucks, who are currently leading the race for the Presidents' Trophy, an award that the Capitals won for the first time in franchise history last season when they led the NHL with 121 points.

Daniel Sedin scored what proved to be the game-winner in the second period and added an empty-net goal in the third as Vancouver held on for the 4-2 win at Verizon Center.

Matt Hendricks and Marcus Johansson each lit the lamp for the Capitals, while Semyon Varlamov was charged with three goals on 34 shots.

"We haven't been through something like this in a while," said Washington head coach Bruce Boudreau. "In the third period we played better, but they played with more passion than we did. We were playing not to lose and that never wins games."

Capitals winger Alexander Semin missed his third straight game Friday with a hip injury and is questionable for tonight's test. Semin leads Washington with 18 goals and is third on the team with 35 points, but he had gone without a point in four straight games before the injury.

The Capitals trail Tampa Bay by two points for the Southeast lead. Washington was shut out Wednesday night in Tampa, as the Lightning skated to a 3-0 victory.

Washington is 15-5-5 as the host this year and is completing a two-game homestand tonight. The Caps will play their next three games on the road, beginning with Tuesday's tilt in Philadelphia.

Ottawa, meanwhile, has lost seven of its last eight games (1-5-2) and the Sens were denied in their attempt to post consecutive wins when they hosted Calgary on Friday. David Moss scored twice to help the Flames take the 3-2 win over Ottawa, which had ended a six-game losing streak in its previous game against the New York Islanders on Thursday.

Nick Foligno had a goal and an assist while Milan Michalek scored the other goal for the Senators and Brian Elliott made 23 saves in the loss.

"We had a lot of motivation for this game cause we wanted to post back-to-back wins," said Foligno. "We need to continue to win and we didn't get the job done tonight."

Ottawa also ended a three-game road losing with Thursday's 6-4 win over the Islanders and the Sens are just 8-9-4 as the guest this season.

Tonight marks the third of four regular-season meetings between Washington and the Senators. The Caps have recorded a pair of 3-2 victories over Ottawa this season and the most recent win came in Canada on Dec. 19. The clubs have split the last 10 meetings overall and the Senators have lost eight of their last nine in D.C.