BLUE JACKETS 4 | SENATORS 1
Cam Atkinson Goal
Nick Foligno Goal
Scott Hartnell Goal
Mark Letestu GoalANALYSIS:
Another scoreless period, but it wasn't without chances for both sides. The Senators rush attack has been relatively quiet so far, and as they did last night, the Jackets have been economical through the neutral zone and forced a lot of dump-ins to make the opposition skate. McElhinney has held the fort for Columbus (22 saves) and Lehner has been strong at the other end (24 saves), and we've got ourselves a pitcher's duel through two periods at Canadian Tire Centre. Todd Richards has done some shuffling with the Jackets lines, as well, moving Foligno up to play with Johansen and Hartnell and putting Calvert with Dubinsky and Tropp. Atkinson has slid down to the fourth line with Letestu and Boll, while the Anisimov-Wennberg-Skille trio remains intact. Shots are 24-22 favoring the Jackets with 20 minutes to go.
ANALYSIS: There wasn't a whole lot going on in the first period, but the Blue Jackets' penalty kill was the story as they came up with a pair of big kills late in the proceedings. Brandon Dubinsky and Matt Calvert were the standouts of that four-minute span, pressuring the point where Erik Karlsson runs the show and forcing the Senators to make plays on the perimeter. Curtis McElhinney had a solid first period, tallying up 11 saves including a great glove grab on Mark Stone's point-blank chance from the slot. Both teams traded chances in the first, but the Blue Jackets' mantra against a goaltender that's had their number of late is obviously to get bodies to the net. Robin Lehner's a big dude with an athletic style in the net, so the more chaos they can create around his crease, the better. Shots are 12-11 favoring the Jackets.
UPDATE (5:15 PM): Here are the pre-game updates from Todd Richards, who spoke with Bob McElligott this afternoon...
- Dalton Prout and Cody Goloubef are in the lineup tonight in place of Ryan Murray and James Wisniewski, both of whom were injured last night vs. St. Louis.
- Here are tonight's pairs: Johnson-Savard, Connauton-Prout, Tyutin-Goloubef.
- Curtis McElhinney gets the start between the pipes after a 32-save effort in last night's 7-1 win.
It's another Jackets Game Day!
Hopefully the Jackets have enough goals left in their sticks for tonight's matchup with the Ottawa Senators. Last night the Jackets poured in seven goals against the St. Louis Blues, their highest single-game total since they netted seven against the Islanders on the final day of the 2011-12 season.
The Senators have lost two in a row but had an off day on Friday and have been home waiting for the Jackets, having lost at home against the Capitals on Thursday. It's the Jackets' eleventh back-to-back of the season, and it's the eighth such series that the Jackets will wrap up away from home.
Here are a few more notes before the Jackets and Sens get down to business...
- The Jackets will be without Ryan Murray and James Wisniewski, both of whom sustained injures last night against the Blues and did not make the trip.
- The Blue Jackets have been carrying nine defensemen, with Cody Goloubef, Dalton Prout, and Jordan Leopold scratched last night. Goloubef has not played since Jan. 14 while Leopold played against Tampa Bay and Arizona after not playing since Dec. 13.
- Nick Foligno scored two goals last night after having scored only once in the previous 15 games. Foligno almost pushed it one better with a breakaway chance in the third period but was stopped by Jake Allen. Foligno is still in search of his first career hat-trick.
- The Jackets are 0-2-0 against the Senators this year, with both losses coming 10 days apart in the month of October.