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Senators shuffle deck for Kings

by Rob Brodie / Ottawa Senators
Senators forward Nick Foligno will be a healthy scratch tonight when the Senators face off against the Kings in Los Angeles (Photo by Andre Ringuette/NHLI via Getty Images).
Check out the NHL's game notes for tonight's Ottawa-Los Angeles matchup.

Nick Foligno will get a different view at the Staples Center tonight.

He hopes it's a rare look.

Foligno is out and Peter Regin is back in the lineup for the Ottawa Senators' matchup with the Kings tonight in Los Angeles (10:30 p.m., TSN, Team 1200). It's the third stop on a five-game road trip that has yet to produce a victory for the Senators, who hope to find some success in a city where their all-time record is a mere 1-9-1.

Regin, the rookie from Denmark, was a healthy scratch himself two nights ago, when Ottawa dropped a 5-2 decision to the San Jose Sharks. Now it's Foligno's turn to watch from the press box alongside defenceman Chris Campoli, who will sit out his second straight game.

"Nick has got to be better," head coach Cory Clouston said after the Senators wrapped up their pre-game skate at the Staples Center. "We’ve got to get him back on track and I think maybe sitting back for a game might be good for him. Also, Peter has practised well and when he’s played well, he’s been very effective. We need him to come in and give us some energy."

Just three games ago, Foligno scored the game-winner on a wraparound goal in the third period as the Senators edged the Columbus Blue Jackets 2-1 at Scotiabank Place. He also provided a key screen on Jason Spezza's goal on a shot from the point.

"That’s what we need him to do. Just be more in the battle areas," Clouston said in explaining what he believes has been missing from Foligno's game on the road trip. "I don’t think he’s getting back to support near enough. Short cuts have crept into his game at times. He just has to play his game. He’s got to play more of a power forward kind of game."

Foligno, who hasn't been a healthy scratch since Feb. 1 — Craig Hartsburg's last game as head coach before Clouston took the reins — was taken aback by the decision, saying "it's embarrassing a little bit and it gets me angry. But I'm going to channel that in a good way... and make sure it never happens again."

"It's embarrassing a little bit and it gets me angry. But I'm going to channel that in a good way ... and make sure it never happens again." - Nick Foligno
"I’m at my best when I’m in the play forechecking hard. I’ve got to get back to that. I’ve got to get pucks in deep and work down low in the corners and get to that net as much as possible. Bang home those garbage goals and let my talents work down low when I’m gritty."

The Senators are currently riding a 133:36 goal-less string against the Kings, but Clouston hopes Regin's return to the lineup can help change that.

"When (Regin) has played well, he's been very effective for us," said Clouston. "He needs to move his feet, he needs to compete and he needs to use his creativity and skill level. When he does that, he makes us a better team."

Around the boards

Brian Elliott (5-3-3) will make his fifth straight start in goal tonight, but Clouston hasn't ruled out the possibility of Binghamton callup Mike Brodeur seeing some action before the road trip ends. "Right now, we're taking it game by game but yeah, it's a possibility," he said ... The road trip wraps up with games Saturday night in Phoenix (10 p.m., no TV, Team 1200) and Sunday in Anaheim (8 p.m., Rogers Sportsnet, Team 1200) ... Saturday's game is now being televised locally in Phoenix, so it'll be available to NHL Centre Ice and NHL Game Center subscribers.

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