The Columbus Blue Jackets (22-13-3) will play their penultimate game of 2017 on the road Friday against the Ottawa Senators (11-16-8). Puck drop is scheduled for shortly after 7:30 PM ET.
The Blue Jackets, who have had three straight games go to a shootout, will look to end one in regulation for a change against a team that’s frankly had a hard time winning lately. The Ottawa Senators, who are next to last in the Atlantic Division with the third-worst point total in the National Hockey League, have won only three of their last 19 games, going 3-13-3 during that span.
Although the CBJ have picked up six of the last eight possible points, their last loss in Pittsburgh on Wednesday night was a tough one. After having a two-goal lead with less than six minutes left, the Jackets let the game slip away, ultimately getting shutout 2-0 in a shootout.
Artemi Panarin, who scored twice on Wednesday, was a bright spot in the game. The Bread Man has now registered five points in his last three games.
Although it’s probably unfair to pin the loss on Sergei Bobrovsky, the CBJ goaltender has now allowed four or more goals four times in his last seven games. It won’t be surprising if John Tortorella gives Joonas Korpisalo the nod in net against the struggling Senators on Friday with the next back-to-back for the CBJ more than a week away.
Sens defenseman Erik Karlsson, who’s scored 16 or more goals in each of his last four seasons, has only registered three goals this year through 30 games. Two of those goals, however, came in a game a little over a week ago, and he’s added an assist since then, so he may be turning a corner and deserves plenty of attention on Friday night.
Despite the overall positive result on Wednesday, the Jackets will look to get back in the win column on Friday in Ottawa. They’ve picked up a point in each of their last four games, and with another win, would keep pace in the Metropolitan Division as 2017 comes to a close.