Jackets try to build momentum in Ottawa

(SportsNetwork.com) – The Columbus Blue Jackets will try to build off an
impressive victory when they visit the Ottawa Senators for Saturday’s clash at
Canadian Tire Centre.

Columbus halted a three-game slide with Friday’s 7-1 thrashing of the St.
Louis Blues, who had entered the matchup with a 12-0-1 record in their
previous 13 games.

Nick Foligno posted two goals and an assist to lead the way for the Blue
Jackets, while Ryan Johansen tallied a short-handed goal and added two
assists. Corey Tropp and Scott Hartnell each had a goal and a helper while
Matt Calvert and Cam Atkinson also scored.

Curtis McElhinney made 32 saves to help give the Blues their first regulation
loss since Jan. 2.

“To win 7-1 leaves you with a good feeling,” Columbus head coach Todd Richards
said. “I think we got contributions from all the lines tonight.”

The lopsided victory did come with some bad news, however, as defensemen James
Wisniewski and Ryan Murray both left the game in the third period with lower-
body injuries and did not return. Neither player made the trip to Ottawa.

With the Jackets playing on back-to-back nights, Anton Forsberg could get the
call in net tonight for Columbus. He has never faced the Senators, while
McElhinney is 0-3-0 with a 3.82 goals against average in four career games
against Ottawa.

The Blue Jackets, who are 11-12-1 on the road, will be away from Nationwide
Arena for just one game before returning to Columbus for a two-game homestand.
The brief stay on home ice begins Monday against the Los Angeles Kings.

Ottawa has lost its first two games in February, dropping consecutive 2-1
regulation decisions against New Jersey and Washington.

All of the scoring in Thursday’s loss to the Capitals came in the second
period. Kyle Turris gave Ottawa a 1-0 lead at 12:15 of the period, but Evgeny
Kuznetsov tied it just 73 seconds later and Alex Ovechkin scored the game-
winner at the 14:17 mark.

Ottawa was unable to come up with a win on defenseman Chris Phillips’
milestone night. Phillips set the franchise record for most games played by
skating in his 1,179th contest on Thursday, surpassing former captain Daniel
Alfredsson, who was present for the pre-game ceremony.

Robin Lehner stopped 27-of-29 shots in his fourth straight start in place of
an injured Craig Anderson.

“We score a goal and then we get away from our game,” said Lehner.

Lehner will start again tonight and owns a perfect 3-0 record and a 1.67 goals
against average in three career outings against Columbus.

Ottawa has won three straight and five of the last six meetings against the
Blue Jackets. Columbus is 2-5-0 with a tie in eight all-time trips to Canada’s
capital city.