(SportsNetwork.com) - A pair of teams in desperate need of a victory meet Tuesday in Ohio, as the Columbus Blue Jackets welcome the Ottawa Senators for a battle at Nationwide Arena.
Columbus enters this tilt on a three-game slide, having lost three straight in regulation directly on the heels of a three-game winning streak. Ottawa, meanwhile, has lost five in a row and also lost No. 1 goaltender Craig Anderson to a scary injury in its latest defeat.
The Senators have managed to record a point in each of their past two setbacks, but that's hardly a consolation for a team that has been one of the NHL's most disappointing clubs this season.
Ottawa fell in a shootout to Dallas on Sunday, rallying from an early 2-0 deficit to earn a point in the loss. The Stars then grabbed a 3-2 edge early in the third period, but Bobby Ryan sent the game into overtime for Ottawa by tallying with 10 seconds left in regulation. Still, the Senators couldn't score in the extra session before ultimately losing the game in the shootout.
"I thought we started the game good again tonight," Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "We made a couple of mistakes that ended up in our net, but I thought that, again, we dug in and found a way to get something out of a game. I thought, again, that's a great start for our team. Let's continue to dig in and continue to get something out of a game."
Erik Karlsson, Jason Spezza and Ryan each had a goal and an assist for the Senators, who have lost five in a row for the first time since March 30-April 9 of last season. The franchise hasn't lost six straight since an 0-6-1 stretch from Jan. 21-Feb. 7, 2012.
Anderson made 33 saves before leaving the game on a stretcher in overtime. He suffered head and neck injuries and will sit out Tuesday's game, but there is still no word on how much time he will miss.
Robin Lehner, who made two saves in relief on Sunday, will get the start in Tuesday's contest,
The Blue Jackets, meanwhile, will try to avoid matching their longest losing streak of the season tonight after falling for a third straight time in Saturday's shutout loss against visiting Pittsburgh. Columbus also lost four in a row from Oct. 12-19.
Columbus was swept in a home-and-home series with the Penguins, losing Friday's road portion by a 4-2 score before getting blanked in 3-0 fashion the following night on home ice. Jeff Zatkoff stopped 19 shots for the shutout.
Curtis McElhinney gave up two goals on 26 shots for the Blue Jackets. Saturday's setback marked the start of a four-game homestand for Columbus, which is 3-4-0 as the host this season.
"I think it came down to they were skating and there seemed to be more urgency in their game," said Columbus head coach Todd Richards. "We got off of our game and started turning pucks over. When you do that against a team like that, they'll make you pay."
Reigning Vezina Trophy winner Sergei Bobrovsky will be back between the pipes for Columbus on Tuesday. The Russian netminder is 3-1-1 with a 2.37 goals against average in five career outings against the Senators.
Ottawa has taken two of the last three meetings against the Blue Jackets, but Columbus is 3-1-0 with a tie in the five all-time encounters between the clubs at Nationwide Arena.