In the middle of an ugly five game losing streak, the Ottawa Senators look to get back on track tonight against their newest conference rivals, the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Like the Sens, the Blue Jackets have struggled a little bit as of late, dropping three straight and posting a 5-8-0 record through the first 13 games of the season. They currently trail Ottawa by just two points in the Eastern Conference standings.
We don’t know exactly how long Craig Anderson will be out for but it’s safe to say this is a great opportunity for Robin Lehner to prove what he can do in the starting role. He has posted an impressive .938 save percentage but has an 0-2-2 record to his name. Even though he hasn’t yet posted a win, he’s looked solid when he’s be in there and with Anderson down, has a chance to take the ball and run with it.
Tonight’s match up marks the first time the two teams have crossed paths since an offseason deal that saw Marc Methot and Nick Foligno switch places. Foligno was always a solid player here in Ottawa but this was a deal that really worked out well for the Senators. Methot has quickly become a key part of the leadership group here in Ottawa and an important piece on the blueline. Safe to say Bryan Murray is extremely happy with how that deal turned out.
Unfortunately we won’t get to see Foligno tonight as he will miss the game with “family issues”.
MacLean tinkered with some new combinations at practice yesterday and is expected to start tonight’s game with that same look. Here is how the Senators are expected to line up:
Lehner starts for Ottawa while the Jackets will counter with former-Senator Curtis McElhinney. Puck drop at the Nationwide Arena is set for just after 7:00 PM.