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Game Day 5: Sens @ Blue Jackets

by Craig Medaglia @craigmedaglia / Ottawa Senators

The Sens are in Columbus looking to bust out of their recent slump and we've got 5 things to get you ready for game time against the Blue Jackets.

1. Dumont's debut

The Sens added some depth up front via the waiver wire on Wednesday after claiming forward Gariel Dumont from Tampa Bay. Dumont, who has appeared in 7 games for Lightning this season, brings a mix of skill and grit and is yet another player who is familiar with head coach Guy Boucher from their time together in Drummondville.

"He's a hard-nosed guy that's reliable, that's going to bring us some intangibles too and he's been a captain everywhere he's played," said Boucher of his newest forward. "He's a guy that hits hard, is smart, can play PK and is an outstanding shot blocker."

The coach also shared a fun little annecdote on Thusday after the news about Dumont's acquisition had made it to the Sens locker room.

"The first thing Nate Thompson told me when we got him was 'good pick-up...I hate this guy'," Boucher quipped. "We need that and we need those types of players."

Tweet from @Media_Sens: Newest #Sens forward Gabriel Dumont will wear #40 for Ottawa. He will become the fourth player in team history to wear that number (Lalime, Morrison and Lehner).

Dumont has split his time between the NHL and AHL over the past 6 seasons, racking up 64 games in the big league with Montreal and Tampa Bay, and was excited to find out he'd been picked up by a Canadian franchise.

"It's never fun to get put on waivers but I'm obviously really happy to get picked up," said Dumont who joined the team in Columbus yesterday.

He is expected to make his Sens debut tonight against the Blue Jackets.

 

2. From the coach

On dealing with the current slump:

Every team goes through these bumps...once, twice and three times a year. Whether you have it last night or a different time of the year, you're going to get through it. Columbus just went through it and now they're on a five game streak. Over 82 games, you're going to get these patches and it's all about how you react to these patches. 


On his message to his team yesterday:

They're different things that we need to manage but it all comes back to being on the same page and wanting to win the right way. So that's keeping calm, sticking together and sticking to our identity for 60 minutes with the patience that we need. That's it. That's the message and it's the same message we've had through all of our tough games and tough patches. When you make it bigger than it is it's because you want to make it bigger than it is and I'm not in the habit of doing that.


His thoughts on Matt Duchene's play since joining the team:

You want to score and you want to make a difference but he's playing really well. He's got some moment's like 'wow', like that breakaway he had yesterday, he hits the crossbar so if his game was 95% not in the right place then you go 'we gotta go way back' but it's the opposite. His game is really good and it's just the end result right now that's not coming.

Video: Nov 23: Boucher Practice Media

 

3. Block Friday

Since the beginning of last season, Boucher has consistently echoed his message about "paying the price" and while that can apply to the game across all 200 feet of the ice, he has particularly identified shot blocking as an important pillar to the team's success.

Last season, it was captain Erik Karlsson who lead the way with 201 blocks, good for second most in the NHL in 2016-17. This year, it's been a complete team effort.

The Sens currently average 16.75 block shots per game which is the highest average in the NHL. Cody Ceci (49) and Dion Phaneuf (46) are currently both among the top 20 in blocked shots this year while Tom Pyatt (28) has the most blocked shots among all forwards to start the season.

 

4. Previous meeting

These teams last faced off back on March 4th, 2017 in Ottawa with the Sens earning a 3-2 win over the Blue Jackets. Zack Smith's 16th goal of the season proved to be the game winner while Craig Anderson was solid in net stopping 25 of 27 to pick up the decision.

Full highlights from that win below:

Video: Senators edge Blue Jackets in Ottawa, 3-2

 

5. Where to watch

Puck drop in Columbus is set for a little after 7 p.m. and you can catch all the action with the best Sens coverage available on TSN5 and RDS.

Tweet from @Senators: It's a #Sens game day! The Sens wrap up their road trip in Columbus as they look to get back in the win column tonight! pic.twitter.com/LoBOuiP3G4

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