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Jackets finish five-game trip at Ottawa

by Brian Compton /

BLUE JACKETS (12-8-3) at SENATORS (12-7-3)

Last 10 -- Columbus 5-3-2; Ottawa 6-3-1.

Season series -- This is the lone meeting between the teams this season. On Jan. 30, Steve Mason stopped all 18 shots he faced and made Jakub Voracek's goal stand up in the Blue Jackets' 1-0 win over the Sens at Nationwide Arena.

Big story -- The Blue Jackets are ending a five-game trip by spending their Thanksgiving north of the border trying to end a three-game losing streak. The Senators will be playing their second game in as many nights after dropping a 3-1 decision at New Jersey on Wednesday night.

Team Scope :

Blue Jackets -- Columbus may have won half of its last 10 games, but you wouldn't know it judging by the last two. The Blue Jackets, who possess a solid goaltending tandem in reigning Calder Trophy winner Steve Mason and veteran Mathieu Garon, have been outscored 12-7 in the past two contests, including a dreadful 7-4 loss to the Rangers at MadisonSquareGarden on Monday night.

In their most recent loss -- a 5-3 decision at Montreal on Tuesday -- the Blue Jackets allowed two goals in a span of 2:28 early in the third period.

"We did not manage the game -- that's the story of our season," Columbus coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We had a game well in control, we played two perfect periods, and then we didn't manage the damn game. We forced pucks, we forced ourselves up ice from the back end and lost the hockey game because of that."

Senators -- Despite a new-look roster, Ottawa has been right in the mix in the Northeast Division since the start of the season. The Sens, though, hit a bump in the road with Wednesday's 3-1 loss to the Devils at the PrudentialCenter. It snapped a four-game winning streak for Cory Clouston's club. All of those victories came on home ice.

"We had some real good scoring chances and (Devils goalie Martin) Brodeur made some good saves," Clouston told the Ottawa Sun. "Their first goal is a ricochet off the back glass and that was the difference."

Who's hot -- Blue Jackets defenseman Anton Stralman has 3 goals and 8 assists in his last 11 contests. … Milan Michalek scored the only goal for Ottawa on Wednesday. He has 11 goals in 22 games since being acquired from San Jose in the Dany Heatley trade.

Injury report -- Columbus forwards Derek Dorsett (concussion) and Andrew Murray are expected to miss at least another week, while left wing Fredrik Modin could miss another month with a sprained right knee. … Senators goalie Pascal Leclaire is out four weeks with a fractured cheekbone, while left wing Shean Donovan (right knee) will miss 6-8 weeks. Chris Neil left Wednesday's game in the first period following a knee-on-knee collision with New Jersey forward Andrew Peters. He's likely to miss Thursday's game. Anton Volchenkov (elbow) is skating and could return next week.

Stat pack -- Columbus boasts the League's best power play at 26.1 percent, but the 3.5 tallies per game it allows has the Jackets ranked 29th in the NHL.

Puck drop -- The Blue Jackets face another tough test on Thursday against the Sens, who haven't lost at Scotiabank Place since dropping a 2-1 shootout decision to the Rangers on Nov. 14. Their last regulation loss was on Nov. 7 against New Jersey.

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