SENATORS (25-25-6) at BLUE JACKETS (22-28-6)
TV: 7 p.m. ET; TVA Sports, CITY, FS-O, CBC, NHL.TV
COLUMBUS - Ottawa Senators rookie forward Ryan Dzingel will feel at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday at Nationwide Arena.
Dzingel played there twice against the University of Michigan during his three seasons at Ohio State University from 2011-14 and will have family and friends cheering for him Saturday. Among them will be his mother, two siblings and an aunt. His father could not travel from their home in Wheaton, Ill., because of knee surgery.
His fans do have a request, though.
"They're trying to tell me to get my first (goal) in front of them," said Dzingel, who has two assists in five career NHL games. "Hopefully I can make it happen for them."
Dzingel, who had 108 points (45 goals, 63 assists) in 110 games for the Buckeyes, got his second call-up from Binghamton of the American Hockey League on Feb. 6. He got his first NHL assist that night against the Toronto Maple Leafs and another against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday.
Ottawa coach Dave Cameron likes Dzingel's speed and skills but said consistency is the key to staying in the lineup.
"Ryan's like all young guys that have come up," Cameron said. "He's shown that he can play on a given night in the NHL. He's got to work on it so that he's a longtime NHLer."
Dzingel was happy his recall coincided with the trip to Ohio.
"I'm very blessed and fortunate that it did," he said. "I knew a couple of days ago when I was called up that maybe I could stay for Columbus."
His only regret is that rookie forward Max McCormick, a former teammate at Ohio State, was sent down when he was promoted and missed the trip.
"It would be cool to have him here," Dzingel said. "I'm sure he'll be here sooner or later. I know he's got 20 NHL games this year so I don't think he's too upset about it."
Dzingel spoke to the Ohio State hockey team Friday before the Buckeyes played Minnesota.
Blue Jackets defenseman David Savard returns after missing 11 games with an oblique injury. He will be paired with Jack Johnson as Cody Goloubef comes out of the lineup.
"It's not due to his play," coach John Tortorella said of Goloubef. "That's just the world Cody's in right now. I want to get [Savard] back in. We consider him one of our top four."
Savard has a goal and 15 assists and is averaging 24:05 of ice time in 39 games. Last season, he had 11 goals and 36 points in 82 games.
"He solidifies the blue line a lot," defenseman Dalton Prout said. "He's an exceptional player who you can use in all situations. He can check the top lines, make plays with the puck and plays heavy in the 'D' zone."
The Blue Jackets are 5-1-2 in the past eight games.
"The team's been playing great," Savard said. "It's fun to watch but I can't wait to be the ice with them and contribute. I'm going to be physical out there. Obviously, I haven't played in a while. I want to get in the game really quick, getting hits or giving hits."
Here are the projected lineups:
Zack Smith - Jean-Gabriel Pageau - Mark Stone
Mike Hoffman - Kyle Turris - Alex Chiasson
Shane Prince - Mika Zibanejad - Bobby Ryan
Ryan Dzingel - Curtis Lazar - Chris Neil
Marc Methot - Erik Karlsson
Dion Phaneuf - Cody Ceci
Mark Borowiecki - Chris Wideman
Scratched: Nick Paul, Patrick Wiercioch
Injured: Chris Phillips (back), Clarke MacArthur (concussion), David Dziurzynski (undisclosed)
Boone Jenner - Brandon Dubinsky - Cam Atkinson
Scott Hartnell - Alexander Wennberg - Brandon Saad
Nick Foligno - William Karlsson - Matt Calvert
Kerby Rychel - Gregory Campbell - Rene Bourque
Ryan Murray - Seth Jones
Jack Johnson - David Savard
Fedor Tyutin - Dalton Prout
Scratched: Justin Falk, Jared Boll, Cody Goloubef
Injured: Sergei Bobrovsky (groin), Curtis McElhinney (ankle), David Clarkson (upper body)
Status report: Wideman returns for Wiercioch after being a healthy scratch against the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday. Wiercioch was scratched Wednesday against the Detroit Red Wings. "We're waiting for someone to grab (the spot). It's an opportunity for both," Cameron said.
What's hot: Korpisalo will make his ninth straight start. The rookie goalie is 5-1-2 with a 2.16 goals-against average in the previous eight games. … Dubinsky has two goals and an assist in two games. … Erik Karlsson has three assists in two games. … William Karlsson has three goals in three games.