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Game Preview #5: One Hour of Effort

The first sustained road trip of the season begins tonight in Ottawa. It's time to build on the early success with a sixty minute performance.

Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports

Columbus Blue Jackets at Ottawa Senators

October 18, 2014 - 7:00 pm EDT
Canadian Tire Center - Kanata, Ontario  Canada
Radio - CD 102.5 FM - TV - Fox Sports Ohio
Opponent's Blog: Silver Seven

The Blue Jackets and Ottawa Senators share a number of common traits coming into this early season matchup.  They boast identical 3-1 records, sit 2nd in their respective divisions, and are likely considered as somewhat of a surprise in the early going.  Columbus is not know for its fast starts, and the loss of Boone Jenner and Brandon Dubinsky for the early part of the season was not a good omen.  Ottawa is still stinging from the loss of Jason Spezza in the off-season, and is without former Blue Jacket Marc Methot, who is rehabbing a nagging back ailment.

Both clubs also have proven to be tenacious in the early going.  Columbus dominated the games against Buffalo and the Rangers, made a strong comeback bid against Dallas, and came out of the gates strong against Calgary, storming to a 3 - 0 lead after two periods, and holding on for the 3 - 2 victory.  Ottawa played three one-goal games in victories over Tampa Bay and Florida, and a loss to Nashville, before overcoming an early three goal deficit against Colorado.

Clarke MacArthur has carried much of the early offensive mail for the Senators, who have also gotten some stellar play in goal from Robin Lehner and Craig Anderson.  With Bobby Ryan and Kyle Turris lurking, the Sens are a potentially dangerous offensive team, as their third period rally against the Avalanche demonstrated.

The Blue Jackets have seemed dominating at times, but have also taken periods off.  They were emotionally flat in the first period against the Stars, and allowed Calgary back into the game in the third.  With Curtis McElhinney slated to make his season debut in net, a sixty minute effort is essential.  Speed and an aggressive forecheck can force Ottawa into taking penalties, enabling Columbus to potentially take advantage of the Senators' spotty penalty killing unit.

Projected Lineups

Columbus Blue Jackets

(3-1-0, 6 Points; 2nd division, 3rd conference)

Nick Foligno Ryan Johansen Cam Atkinson
Scott Hartnell Artem Anisimov Alexander Wennberg
Matt Calvert Mark Letestu Jack Skille
Corey Tropp Michael Chaput Jared Boll
Jack Johnson David Savard
Tim Erixon James Wisniewski
Fedor Tyutin Dalton Prout
Curtis McElhinney
Sergei Bobrovsky

(3-1-0, 6 Points; 2nd Division, 4th Conference)

Clarke MacArthur Kyle Turris Mark Stone
Bobby Ryan Mika Zibanejad Alex Chiasson
Mike Hoffman David Legwand Chris Neil
Milan Michalek Zack Smith Curtis Lazar
Chris Phillips Erik Karlsson
Patrick Wiercioch Cody Ceci
Eric Gryba Mark Borowiecki
Robin Lehner
Craig Anderson

Season Series

10/18/14 - Columbus at Ottawa
10/28/14 - Ottawa at Columbus
2/7/15 - Columbus at Ottawa

Head to Head Stats

Ottawa Columbus
2.50 (17) GPG 3.25 (9)
2.00 (9) GAPG 2.25 (13)
15.0% (18) PP% 17.6% (15)
78.6% (20) PK% 100.0% (1)
Clarke MacArther, 2 G leader Cam Atkinson / Ryan Johansen, 3
Kyle Turris, 3 A leader Nick Foligno, 4
Kyle Turris, 4 Pts leader Ryan Johansen, 6
Eric Gryba, 10 PIM leader Jack Skille, 7
1-0-0 Road/Home 1-0-0
3-1-0 Last 10 3-1-0
10/16 vs. Colorado, W 5-3 Last Game 10/17 vs. Calgary, W 3 -2