COLUMBUS (12-14-5) at Ottawa (13-17-2)
Saturday, 1 p.m., Canadian Tire Centre, Sportsnet, TVA Sports, TSN 1200 AM, Unique 94.5 FM
OTT: PP 9.8% (31st); PK 82.1% (14th)
CBJ: PP 18% (18th); PK 79.5% (19th)
THE BIG MATCHUP
Brady Tkachuk vs. Nick Foligno
The Senators winger is the leader for this team most nights and Wednesday’s loss in Montreal was no different. Tkachuk is one of the club’s most physical player and he makes the opponent pay the price every chance he gets. This is the type of game where the Senators will need him to step up. Foligno is one of the Jackets’ most consistent players and he has to be shut down for Ottawa to have success.
FIVE KEYS TO THE GAME
1. Win at home
The Senators scored a 5-2 victory over the Boston Bruins on Monday at home and, for the most part, the club has been strong on home ice. The Senators have an 8-5-0 record at the Canadian Tire Centre and a victory here would be a big boost as they head to the Sunshine State for a couple of games starting Monday against the Florida Panthers.
2. Stay out of the box
The Senators have done a solid job penalty killing this season, so there shouldn’t be any complaints on that front. This is expected to be a tight, low-scoring game and special teams will play a big role here. The Senators have struggled with their own power play so it would be advisable not to give the Jackets opportunities.
3. Move on without Dylan
Losing Dylan DeMelo with a broken finger is a big blow to this team. He has played such a valuable role through the first 32 games and has been strong on the back end. It will be difficult for the Senators to fill his minutes, but this is a big opportunity for Max Lajoie to show he deserves to play at this level full-time.
4. Contributions from Colin
Colin White has struggled with consistency big time this season and he’s a better player than we’ve seen lately. The Senators need him to get back on track scoring goals and getting the job done at both ends of the ice. White hasn’t scored in 15 games and a goal would go a long way in allowing him to get his confidence back.
5. Play well for Dad
The Senators will have their fathers in the house before leaving for Florida after the game to prepare to face the Panthers Monday and Tampa Bay Tuesday. Coach D.J. Smith noted Friday players always want to do well in front of their families. This would certainly get the long weekend off to a good start.
SENS GAMEDAY LINES
Brady Tkachuk-Jean-Gabriel Pageau-Connor Brown
Vladislav Namestnikov-Chris Tierney-Anthony Duclair
Tyler Ennis-Artem Anisimov-Colin White
Nick Paul- Logan Brown-Jonathan Davidsson
Thomas Chabot-Ron Hainsey
Mark Borowiecki-Nikita Zaitsev
Max Lajoie-Cody Goloubef
JACKETS GAMEDAY LINES
Gustav Nyquist-Boone Jenner-Oliver Bjorkstrand
Sonny Milano-Pierre-Luc Dubois-Cam Atkinson
Nick Foligno-Alexandre Texier-Josh Anderson
Eric Robinson-Riley Nash-Alexander Wennberg
Dean Kukan-Seth Jones
Ryan Murray-David Savard
Vladislav Gavrikov-Dean Kukan
OTT: Craig Anderson, Dylan DeMelo, Scott Sabourin, Christian Wolanin
CBJ: Markus Nutivaara, Kyle Sherwood, Zach Werenski
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