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BLUE JACKETS (6-10-3) at SENATORS (8-7-4)
TV: FS-O, SNET-E, TVA
Last 10: Columbus 2-5-3; Ottawa 4-4-2
Season series: The Ottawa Senators beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-1 on Nov. 5 in the first of three meetings. In their meeting before that, Oct. 22, 2011, Ottawa won 4-3.
Big story: Ottawa has won four of its past five, including the win in Columbus 12 days ago. The Senators play host to a struggling Columbus team that has gained a point in three straight but is 1-5-3 in its past nine games. The Blue Jackets open a five-game Canadian road trip.
Blue Jackets: Three straight wins to open a late-October homestand gave hope Columbus could right the ship after starting the season 2-5-0. But a 1-4-3 record in November has hurt a Blue Jackets team that hasn't won on the road since Oct. 10.
Friday against the Montreal Canadiens, Columbus got off to a great start with two first-period goals to take an early 2-0 lead. But Alex Galchenyuk's goal with eight seconds remaining in the period allowed the Canadiens to grab some momentum heading into the second, where they tied the game on Lars Eller's power-play goal.
The third period and overtime solved nothing, and David Desharnais scored the only goal in the shootout to hand Columbus a 3-2 loss.
"We're doing a lot of good things," Columbus wing Nick Foligno said. "That's the frustrating part. We're not coming away with two points. There seems that lull, that little moment when we allow them to come back."
Senators: Bobby Ryan has been Ottawa's best offensive player so far, but he left the game against the Boston Bruins on Friday after a hit in the third period from Dennis Seidenberg that connected around Ryan's chin and jaw.
After skating Saturday, Ryan admitted to feeling some stiffness in his upper body, but coach Paul MacLean confirmed Sunday morning he will be in the lineup against the Blue Jackets.
"I felt pretty good, just a lot of stiffness in some areas in my upper back and shoulders and neck," Ryan said Saturday. "But for the most part no issues as far as my head is concerned."
The Senators scored four straight goals to win 4-2 Friday.
Who's hot: Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski has five points in his past five games. … Ryan has 11 points in his past eight games and leads Ottawa with 20 points.
Injury report: Blue Jackets wing Marian Gaborik (sprained knee) will miss at least three weeks. Forward Cody Bass (thumb) is also out. Forward Matt Calvert (abdomen), Boone Jenner (leg) and Nathan Horton (shoulder) are skating, with Calvert and Jenner potentially returning to the lineup Sunday. Defenseman Dalton Prout (undisclosed) has missed the past two games and could again be out Sunday. … Senators defensemen Patrick Wiercioch and Joe Corvo missed the win against Boston with undisclosed injuries. Erik Condra (leg muscle) is available and will be a game-time decision.
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