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Game #66 Preview: Slumping Senators visit short-handed Blue Jackets

Dec 1, 2023; Columbus, Ohio, USA; Columbus Blue Jackets center Boone Jenner (38) tips the puck past Ottawa Senators goalie Joonas Korpisalo (70) for a goal during the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Thursday, March 14, 2024 – 7:00 PM EDT
Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio
TV: Bally Sports Ohio; Radio: 97.1 FM

Ottawa Senators (26-33-4, 56 points, 8th Atlantic, 15th East)


Columbus Blue Jackets (22-23-10, 54 points, 8th Metro, 16th East)

It’s a battle between the two worst teams in the Eastern Conference, and Ottawa has had an even more disappointing season than Columbus, relative to pre-season expectations.

Player(s) to Watch


Will the Blue Jackets go with Daniil Tarasov, who is playing well and is coming off of a shutout relief effort on Tuesday? Or give another chance to Elvis Merzlikins, who was pulled mere minutes into the game after giving up 3 goals on his 4 shots faced?

On the other side, the Senators feature two former Blue Jackets, both of whom are struggling this season. Joonas Korpisalo and his big new contract have delivered a .889 save percentage and 3.32 GAA. His backup and former Cleveland teammate Anton Forsberg has .888 and 3.29.

Jackets Notes

When it rains it pours, huh?

In addition to the previously added Trey Fix-Wolansky, Carson Meyer, and Brendan Gaunce, on Wednesday the Jackets recalled forward Mikael Pyyhtia. He made his NHL debut in two games late last season and has a 10/20/30 line with Cleveland so far this season.

The Other Bench

In addition to the goalie struggles, the Senators are missing two key defensemen in Thomas Chabot and Travis Hamonic. They have also just lost center Josh Norris for the rest of the season with a shoulder injury … Prior to an overtime win at home against Pittsburgh on Tuesday, the Senators had lost 7 straight.

Season Series

12/01/2023 OTT 2 @ CBJ 4
02/13/2024 CBJ 3 @ OTT 6
03/14/2024 OTT @ CBJ


3.17 (14)GPG2.92 (22)
3.51 (28)GAPG3.60 (30)
16.4 (27)PP%13.9 (31)
73.8 (30)PK%76.5 (25)
50.0 (18)5v5 Shot Attempt %48.5 (22)
51.0 (14)5v5 Unblocked Shot Attempt %48.5 (21)
9.0 (10)5v5 Shooting %9.2 (7)
90.1 (31)5v5 Save %91.1 (18)
Brady Tkachuk, 27G LeaderBoone Jenner, 19
Tim Stutzle, 44A LeaderJohnny Gaudreau, 35
Tim Stutzle, 59P LeaderJohnny Gaudreau, 45
Brady Tkachuk, 108PIM LeaderErik Gudbranson, 59
3-6-1Last 104-6-0

Projected Lines

Columbus Blue Jackets

Johnny GaudreauBoone JennerTrey Fix-Wolansky
Mikael PyyhtiaDmitri VoronkovKirill Marchenko
Alexandre TexierCole SillingerAlex Nylander
Carson MeyerBrendan GaunceMathieu Olivier
Zach WerenskiAdam Boqvist
Ivan ProvorovDamon Severson
Jake BeanErik Gudbranson
Daniil Tarasov
Elvis Merzlikins

Ottawa Senators

Brady TkachukShane PintoDrake Batherson
Mathieu JosephTim StutzleClaude Giroux
Ridly GreigZack OstapchukDominik Kubalik
Boris KatchoukMark KastelicParker Kelly
Jake SandersonArtem Zub
Jakob ChychrunMax Guenette
Erik BrannstromJacob Bernard-Docker
Joonas Korpisalo
Anton Forsberg