The Washington Times - January 20, 2009, 11:27AM

* Michael Nylander will be a healthy scratch tonight against the Ottawa Senators. David Steckel, who sat yesterday against the Islanders will replace him

Nylander has two goals in his past 41 games. Both were at Bell Centre — one was a rebound that went in when the goalie kicked it in and the other was an Alex Ovechkin shot off his foot. This will be the third time this season he has been scratched.


* To say tonight’s game is a tale of teams heading in the opposite direction would be an understatement. Since the year 2008 began, the Washington Capitals are 58-32 while the Ottawa Senators are 33-54.

“I hope that reporter [from Ottawa] is here that kept saying their playing the lowly Washington Capitals,” Bruce Boudreau said. “I guess we’re playing the lowly Ottawa Senators. No, it is the NHL. Any team can bite you in the butt any day.”

* It is another game against an inferior opponent and Boudreau will have to hope his team plays better than it has in recent games of this type. The Caps have looked great against the elite in the Eastern Conference in recent weeks, but games they should win easily have been the ones they’ve struggled in the most.

Both games on Long Island have been closer than people would have expected — both ended with Alex Ovechkin overtime winners.

“It is like [assistant coach Dean Evanson] was telling me yesterday, ‘You’ve warned them so much after the first period, you can’t warn them anymore,” Boudreau said. “He was right. Sometimes I over-warn them. It is because I’ve been through this situation so often as a coach and as a player.”

* After the morning skate, the inauguration festivities were on the TV in the dressing room. Several players were stealing looks at the tube while doing interviews and changing. Several reporters stood near the TV to listen to President Obama’s speech, and a couple of the players stopped by to listen.

It is an interesting scheduling quirk that we are here in Ottawa today when we were also here on Election Day.

* One of the nice things about getting out of town was supposed to be avoiding the traffic hazards that the inauguration has brought. Well, it turns out things might not be much better up here in Ottawa. Public transportation workers are on strike, so the roads are populated with more cars than usual.