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Blue Jackets seek return to win column against Senators

by Sean Farrell

OTTAWA -- The Columbus Blue Jackets have a curious combination of streaks going as they get ready to face the Ottawa Senators on Sunday.

The Blue Jackets have just one win in their past nine games (1-5-3), yet they have earned points in four straight games. Columbus ended a five-game losing streak on Nov. 9 with a 5-2 win against the New York Islanders, then followed that up with a pair of overtime losses and a 3-2 shootout loss to the Montreal Canadiens on Friday.

Blue Jackets left wing Nick Foligno will play his first game in Ottawa since he was traded by the Senators to Columbus for defenseman Marc Methot on July 1, 2012.

"It's going to be a tooth-and-nail kind of game, where it's 60 minutes and you're grinding it out to get that win, and I think we just have to find that little extra effort to make sure we do that," Foligno said. "I think once we do, and find that way to get a win, we're going to start rolling from there."

Rookie Boone Jenner returns for Columbus after missing nine games because of a leg injury. The 20-year-old left wing will play on a line with Brandon Dubinsky, who shifts over from left wing to center, and right wing Cam Atkinson.

"Before he got hurt he was playing well for us and we like what he provides for our team, just the energy and how hard he gets in on the forecheck and the aggressiveness that he plays with," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said before the game Sunday at Canadian Tire Place.

Sergei Bobrovsky will make his 16th start for Columbus. The 2012-13 Vezina Trophy winner is 5-8-2 with a 2.83 goals-against average and a .908 save percentage.

Backup goalie Curtis McElhinney stopped 38 of 40 shots in regulation and overtime Friday before losing in the shootout against Montreal. McElhinney is 1-2-1 with a 1.94 GAA and a .936 save percentage.

"He played well, but to me, Bob's our guy and we wanted to give him a breather," Richards said.

Bobby Ryan will play Sunday after missing the last few minutes of Ottawa's 4-2 win against the Boston Bruins on Friday. Ryan went to the dressing room at 16:25 of the third period and did not return after he took an elbow to the face when he was hit behind the Boston net by Bruins defenseman Dennis Seidenberg. No penalty was called on the play.

Ryan, who scored his team-leading 10th goal earlier in the third, practiced with the Senators on Saturday.

Craig Anderson makes his third straight start for Ottawa after he was sidelined for three games because of a sore neck. Anderson stopped 30 of 32 shots Friday after he allowed all five goals Tuesday in a 5-0 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in his first game back after he was injured Nov. 3 in a collision with Dallas Stars rookie Valeri Nichushkin.

Senators backup goalie Robin Lehner has not played since he was named the NHL's First Star of the Week on Monday after leading Ottawa to three straight wins in Anderson's absence.

Erik Condra will play on a line with Derek Grant and Mika Zibanejad after missing six games because of a leg injury.

Here are the expected Blue Jackets and Senators lineups:


Boone Jenner - Brandon Dubinsky - Cam Atkinson

Nick Foligno - Ryan Johansen - RJ Umberger

Blake Comeau - Derek MacKenzie - Mark Letestu

Michael Chaput - Artem Anisimov - Jared Boll

Fedor Tyutin - Jack Johnson

Ryan Murray - James Wisniewski

Nikita NikitinDavid Savard

Sergei Bobrovsky

Curtis McElhinney

Scratched: Jack Skille

Injured: Marian Gaborik (sprained knee), Nathan Horton (left shoulder surgery), Dalton Prout (back spasms), Matt Calvert (abdominal surgery)


Milan Michalek - Jason Spezza - Cory Conacher

Clarke MacArthur - Kyle Turris - Bobby Ryan

Colin Greening - Zack Smith - Chris Neil

Erik Condra - Derek Grant - Mika Zibanejad

Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson

Mark Borowiecki - Chris Phillips

Jared Cowen - Eric Gryba

Craig Anderson

Robin Lehner

Scratched: Joe Corvo, Patrick Wiercioch, Matt Kassian

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