Columbus Blue Jackets at Ottawa Senators on Oct. 22, 2011

The Ottawa Senators will be looking to string consecutive wins together for the first time this season when they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets at Scotiabank Place Saturday night.

Columbus Blue Jackets at Ottawa Senators on Oct. 22, 2011
PITTSBURGH, PA - APRIL 13: Jason Spezza #19 of the Ottawa Senators handles the puck against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on April 13, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Senators defeated the Penguins 3-2 in a shootout. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)


THE STORY:
The Ottawa Senators will be looking to string consecutive wins together for the first time this season when they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets at Scotiabank Place Saturday night. Odds are good they’ll do just that, considering the Jackets are the only team in the NHL that hasn’t managed to win a single game yet. So much for this being the season Rick Nash and Co. turn things around.

THE SUBPLOTS: This would have been a great opportunity for winger Nikita Filatov to exact some revenge on the team that gave up on him. Only problem is Filatov is toiling away in AHL obscurity at the moment. The Senators aren’t ready to quit on him too just yet, but clearly they won’t be giving him a free pass this season either. In other ‘he used to play here news,’ welcome back to the capital, Antoine Vermette.

THE WILDCARD: Craig Anderson, Senators. Without Anderson’s heroics against the Winnipeg Jets (35 saves), this team would be stinging much worse than it is today. When No. 41 is at the top of his game, the Senators can beat just about anyone. When he isn’t, a loss is all but guaranteed. The Senators need more outings like Thursday night to keep things respectable here.

THE OPPONENT: You have to wonder when things will finally collapse for good in Columbus. The team has been bleeding red ink for years, thanks in large part to its inability to ice a competitive team (one playoff appearance…ever). things were supposed to be different this season with the summer acquisition of centre Jeff Carter to play with long-tenured star Rick Nash. Well, Carter has a fractured foot and the Jackets could be out of the playoff chase by the end of October. What a mess.

THE QUOTE: “Mentally now, we know we can play a full 60 minute game. Now, we can always rely on that and go back and say, ‘we did it once, we can do it again’ and build off that and do it a second time and a third time and before you know it, we string 10 games together that are looking pretty good.” — Anderson, taking a positive view of the Senators’

THE SICK BAY: Senators — D Matt Carkner (knee), C Peter Regin (shoulder) RW Bobby Butler (groin). Jackets — LW Kristian Huselius (torn pectoral muscle), C Jeff Carter (hairline fracture of foot), D Curtis Sanford (undisclosed), RW Jarrett Boll (broken thumb).

THE PREDICTION: For the second straight game, the Senators are playing a bad team coming off a road loss the night before. They grounded the Winnipeg Jets on Thursday night and will probably sting the Blue Jackets after Columbus fell 5-2 in Detroit on Friday. Senators 3, Jackets 2. (CLICK HERE TO SEE WHO THE REST OF OUR PREDICTION PANEL LIKES IN THIS ONE).

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