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game preview

Blue Jackets at Senators preview

Columbus can finish as first wild card with win, Carolina loss

by Callum Fraser / Correspondent

BLUE JACKETS (46-31-4) at SENATORS (29-46-6)

7 p.m. ET; SN360, CITY, TVAS2, FS-O, NHL.TV


The Game

The Columbus Blue Jackets will try to clinch the first wild card from the Eastern Conference into the Stanley Cup Playoffs when they visit the Ottawa Senators at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday.

The Blue Jackets, who clinched a playoff berth with a 3-2 shootout win against the New York Rangers on Friday, can secure the first wild card if they defeat the Senators and the Carolina Hurricanes lose to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday. Columbus will also clinch the first wild card if they earn one point and Carolina loses in regulation.

Goalie Craig Anderson will start for the Senators, who will try for their fifth win in eight games after losing 13 of 16 (3-12-1).


Players to watch

Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky is 8-2-0 with a .942 save percentage and four shutouts in his past 10 starts.

Senators forward Brady Tkachuk has six points (three goals, three assists) in his past five games.


They said it

"When you get down to the final two games, I was a little nervous (on Friday), coming into it. I wasn't sure how the nerves were on the team. You just kind of get anxious because you want to get in so bad. We're there now. … We're going to try and play the right way. When we get to the playoffs, we're going to have some fun." -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella

"The right way to do things is always to do the right things. And I give our guys credit. While they haven't been perfect, they've tried to do the right things. Their effort has been good and that's what we're going to need again tonight." -- Senators coach Marc Crawford


Blue Jackets projected lineup

Artemi Panarin -- Pierre-Luc Dubois -- Cam Atkinson

Ryan Dzingel -- Matt Duchene -- Josh Anderson

Alexandre Texier-- Boone Jenner -- Oliver Bjorkstrand

Riley Nash -- Brandon Dubinsky -- Nick Foligno

Zach Werenski -- Seth Jones

Markus Nutivaara -- David Savard

Dean Kukan -- Scott Harrington

Sergei Bobrovsky

Joonas Korpisalo

Scratched: Alexander Wennberg, Markus Hannikainen, Lukas Sedlak, Eric Robinson, Adam Clendening, Andrew Peeke, Keith Kinkaid, Elvis Merzlikins

Injured: Adam McQuaid (upper body)


Senators projected lineup

Mikkel Boedker -- Jean-Gabriel Pageau -- Max Veronneau

Anthony Duclair -- Chris Tierney -- Bobby Ryan

Brady Tkachuk -- Colin White -- Brian Gibbons

Zack Smith -- Oscar Lindberg -- Magnus Paajarvi

Thomas Chabot -- Dylan DeMelo

Andreas Englund -- Cody Ceci

Mark Borowiecki -- Christian Jaros

Craig Anderson

Anders Nilsson

Scratched: Joey Daccord

Injured: Ben Harpur (concussion)


Status report

The Senators sent defenseman Christian Wolanin and forward Rudolfs Balcers to Belleville of the American Hockey League.


Stat pack

Columbus is 6-1-0 in its past seven games. … Atkinson needs one goal to move ahead of Rick Nash (41 in 2003-04) for sole possession of the Blue Jackets' single-season record.

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