Game Preview #53 - Take Back What's Yours

Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sport

The Jackets play their third game in four days seeking a win to get them back on track as Ottawa comes to town.

Ottawa Senators at Columbus Blue Jackets

January 28, 2014 - 7:00 pm EST
Nationwide Arena - Columbus, OH
Radio - WBNS 97.1 - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: Silver Seven
SBN's Senators vs Blue Jackets coverage

Well, shit. The Jackets won eight games in a row, and I'll be frank: tonight's game feels like a chance for all of that to slip away. They let the Canes pass them up both on the scoreboard and in the standings last night. Losing three games in four days would certainly put a huge smudge on the winning streak, especially with just six games before the break, three of which are on the road out West.

Worse still, they were knocked out of a playoff spot, both in the Metro and in the Wild Card race. They need to take back what's theirs tonight.

The Senators are on a bit of a rollercoaster themselves, as after winning six of seven (6-0-1), they've won just once in their last five (1-2-2). They've allowed 18 goals over that span, which is, how you say, not good. And that includes shutting out the Caps for their one win. So, in the four losses, they've allowed 18 goals.

And so, there it is. That's how the Jackets can win this game. They need to recapture the scoring streak they were on during their winning streak. They were slow last night, and were unable to generate basically any offense for the final two frames until it was too late. After dominating Buffalo and losing, they were clearly outplayed last night and still almost stole a win. It's a bit of a head-scratcher, for sure.

Curtis McElhinney gets the nod in goal tonight, and Blake Comeau returns to the lineup in place of Corey Tropp. On defense, David Savard is still out, and the pairings from last night remain the same.

Ultimately, however, the Jackets need to re-establish their forecheck, they need to create scoring chances, and they need to start burying them again. They were hitting all of those chances during the streak, and getting stoned in the two losses since. The Sens are struggling to keep the puck out of their net, and the Jackets need to capitalize on that.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets
(26-22-4, 56 Points; 4th division, 9th conference)

Nick Foligno Ryan Johansen R.J. Umberger
Matt Calvert Brandon Dubinsky Cam Atkinson
Boone Jenner Artem Anisimov Nathan Horton
Derek MacKenzie Mark Letestu Blake Comeau
Fedor Tyutin Jack Johnson
Ryan Murray James Wisniewski
Nikita Nikitin Cody Goloubef
Curtis McElhinney
Sergei Bobrovsky

Ottawa Senators
(22-20-10, 54 Points; 6th division, 12th conference)

Colin Greening Jason Spezza Erik Condra
Clarke MacArthur Kyle Turris Bobby Ryan
Cory Conacher Mika Zibanejad Milan Michalek
Zack Smith Stephane Da Costa Chris Neil
Jared Cowen Erik Karlsson
Chris Phillips Cody Ceci
Marc Methot Eric Gryba
Craig Anderson
Robin Lehner

Season Series

11/05/13 - Ottawa 4 at Columbus 1
11/17/13 - Columbus 4 at Ottawa 1
01/28/14 - Ottawa at Columbus

Head to Head Stats

Ottawa Columbus
2.79 (12) GPG 2.85 (10)
3.06 (27) GAPG 2.83 (18)
19.4% (11) PP% 18.6% (16)
80.2% (21) PK% 80.7% (18)
Bobby Ryan, 19 G leader Ryan Johansen, 19
Erik Karlsson, 37 A leader James Wisniewski, 27
Erik Karlsson, 49 Pts leader Ryan Johansen, 38
Chris Neil, 108 PIM leader Brandon Dubinsky, 78
11-9-5 Road/Home 14-10-2
1/25 @ Carolina, L 6-3 Last Game 1/27 @ Carolina, L 3-2
5-2-3 Last 10 8-2-0
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