Tuesday's game between the Washington Capitals and the Ottawa Senators carries a similar storyline between both teams...Potent offensives with lackluster goaltending.
The Senators opening night starter was Martin Gerber, who has compiled just one win in five outings and has since been benched for backup, Alex Auld. Gerber has given up at least three goals in every start and his GAA this season is .77 higher than his career average. Auld took over the starting duties on October 24, and Ottawa has recorded a point in four of his six starts (three wins). Auld has conceded an average of two goals in the past four games and is just a few years removed from a 33-win season with Vancouver in 2006.
Tomorrow night, Alex Auld (2-2 lifetime versus the Capitals) will make the start. Last season Washington won all four meetings against Ottawa, two of the games thanks to Gerber's great goaltending. On December 29th, Gerber gave up eight goals in the Capitals 8-6 victory. The teams played again three days later and this time Gerber was yanked eight minutes into the game after giving up three goals on eight shots.
As for the Capitals, I'd say it's about time to start Brent Johnson who hasn't played since October 18th. Johnny sports a 4-1 record against Ottawa with a GAA under 2 and a shutout. On the other hand, Jose Theodore has a 7-12 record against the Sens and a save percentage below 90%. In addition, Theo has allowed five goals in two of the past three games.
It's still way too early to hit the panic button, but if Ottawa can win with a backup, why can't we?