Nov 5, 2013; Columbus, OH, USA; Ottawa Senators goalie Robin Lehner (40) makes a save on a Columbus Blue Jackets center Ryan Johansen (19) shot during the second period at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

Game 20 Preview: Columbus Blue Jackets @ Ottawa Senators


After a big win Friday over division rival Boston, the Senators have an early puck drop against one of the bottom dwellers in the Eastern Conference, a team that the cannot take lightly but should come away with a win from

 

blue_jackets_logo(6-10-3, 15 points) 8th Metropolitan Division

VS

SENS LOGO(8-7-4, 20 points) 5th Atlantic Division

1:00 PM

Canadian Tire Centre

TV: Rogers Sportsnet  RADIO: TSN1200

 

MATCHUP HISTORY

These teams haven’t met a lot over the years, due to the fact they were in opposite conferences.  This will be the second meeting of the season between the clubs, with the Senators skating away with a 4-1 win over the Blue Jackets and backup goalie Curtis McElhinney.

 

LAST GAMES

After  a slow start and falling behind 2-0 to the Bruins, the Senators scored 3 third period goals en route to a 4-2 win over their divisional rivals.  That win followed up one of their worst performances of the season in a 5-0 loss to the Flyers. The Blue Jackets have gained points in each of their last 4 games, but have lost their last 3 in extra time (2 in OT, 1 in SO).  They last lost to the Montreal Canadiens 3-2 in a shootout on Friday night.

 

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Nick Foligno, CBJ – Foligno makes first appearance in Ottawa after being traded in the summer of 2012 for Marc Methot. Foligno played his first 351 NHL games with the Senators, scoring 61 goals and 148 points in an Ottawa uniform.  Foligno has missed time recently (including Ottawa’s visit to Columbus) to attend to the health of his newborn baby.  We hope that everything works out for the Foligno family in that regard.  He has been back in the Blue Jacket’s lineup for the past couple of games, so that is relatively good news.

Marc Methot, OTT – The former Blue Jacket hosts his former club for the first time.  Methot was re-united with Erik Karlsson for the Boston game, to good reviews.  He has played over 20 minutes in each of the last 4 games, after spending a stretch of the 2 previous games where he didn’t reach 18 minutes.

 

TOP 3 STORYLINES FOR THE GAME

1.  Battle of the Crease:  This time we should see reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky in the net for the Blue Jackets, after McElhinney played on Friday against the Habs.  He should be facing down the ice at the player who probably would have won the Vezina had he not been injured, Craig Anderson.  Both have struggled this season and haven’t been able to match their gaudy numbers from last year, but both are capable of stealing a game.

2.  Coming In HotBobby Ryan missed the last 6 minutes of the game against Boston after taking an elbow to the chin.  He did practice yesterday and will be a game time decision. He should be good to go, and Erik Condra is also reportedly close to returning to the lineup.

3.  Win the ones you should:  The Senators have won 4 of their last 5 games and have points in 6 of their last 7.  This is one they should win and one they need to win to keep pace with a bunch of teams for the last wildcard spot, a race they don’t want to lose touch with before they can focus on the top 3 spots in the conference.

 

PARTING SHOT

Friday’s win was a big one, even though Boston was playing on back to back nights and had some obviously tired legs. The Senators are 1-1-1 in games that start before 4:00 in the afternoon, so who knows what to expect from the team today.

Tags: Craig Anderson Game Preview Marc Methot Nick Foligno Ottawa Senators Sergei Bobrovsky