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Game Preview: Jackets visit Senators seeking fourth straight win

by Katie Foglia / Columbus Blue Jackets

The Ottawa Senators (8-5-5) are currently in the midst of a five-game home stand and looking to make up some ground in the Atlantic Division. The Senators dropped their last two games at the Canadian Tire Centre, losing to the New York Rangers in a shootout over the weekend and to the Detroit Red Wings in overtime on Monday.

When it comes to home games, the Senators are 3-3-4 in their 10 games played at the CTC this season.

Head coach Dave Cameron’s team had been putting in a lot of time lately. Nine of Ottawa’s 18 games this season have gone into overtime or a shootout, which places them at the top of the league in that regard.

A few notes on the Blue Jackets: Jared Boll, who blocked a shot in Tuesday’s game, has been placed on injured reserve (lower body), and center Michael Chaput was recalled in a corresponding move on Wednesday afternoon. Josh Anderson was also recalled from the Lake Erie Monsters on Wednesday morning. Anderson joined the team for practice at Nationwide Arena before hopping on the plane to Ottawa.

Blue Jackets No. 1 goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is expected to make his fifth straight start in net but, due to back-to-back games, the team returns home to play Nashville on Friday night, so there could be an alteration in the schedule.

The Blue Jackets are 6-10-2 in the all-time series against the Senators, and will face them once more this season on Feb. 13 at Nationwide Arena.

These two teams have already faced each other once during the 2015-16 season. It was on Oct. 14, when the Blue Jackets dropped their fourth straight game (second at home) to the Senators, a not-so-good 7-3 final.

After the Senators pulled even at 2-2 with 1:44 in the second period, things started to spiral negatively for Columbus. Ottawa scored the final five goals of the game despite only 28 shots on goal.

Meanwhile, the Jackets had 40 shots on Senators goaltender Craig Anderson. Brandon Saad scored a power play goal at 12:16 of the first period, and despite Ottawa responding at 16:05, the Jackets had an answer of their own.

Boone Jenner walked to the front of the net and jammed the puck past Anderson, giving Columbus a 2-1 lead. In the second period, Milan Michalek scored on his own rebound in front of Sergei Bobrovsky at 1:44 to tie the game, and three minutes later Brandon Dubinksy put the Jackets back in the lead -- but that was the last goal Columbus would score.

In the last Ottawa preview, the player to watch was Erik Karlsson. And once again, the Senators captain is the player to keep your eye on in this game.

Karlsson, one of the best two-way defenders in the league, has been a consistent force for Ottawa so far this season. In 18 games played, he’s scored three goals and added 15 assists for a total of 18 points. He's the type of player you want on the ice during all those 3-on-3 overtimes they've been playing.

The 25-year-old blueliner sits fourth in the league in assists and ninth in total points, and has recorded at least one point in Ottawa's previous four games.

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