Ottawa Senators

Elias on the boos: ‘It wasn’t deserved tonight. I didn’t appreciate it’


The New Jersey Devils have now lost five straight following a 2-0 defeat at the hands of the Ottawa Senators Wednesday night.

The loss was also New Jersey’s fifth straight on home ice.

The 15,379 in attendance at the Prudential Center had seen enough Wednesday electing to boo the home team as they fell to 3-5-4 on home ice this season.

“Obviously, the fans, they were booing. They were disappointed. So were we. Trust me. But, we didn’t deserve that today,” said Patrik Elias, who returned after missing five games with a groin injury. “The effort was there. We were the better team. We understand it, but it wasn’t deserved tonight. I didn’t appreciate it.”

New Jersey had 26 shots on goal through 40 minutes while holding Ottawa to just four shots in each of the first two periods; however, they could not solve Craig Anderson, who made 34 saves for the shutout.

New Jersey has played nine games in the month of December and scored two or fewer goals seven times.

“Everybody gets booed some time. We know when we deserve it,” continued Elias. “We played well. A lot of good things, a lot of positives. It’s just when you don’t score goals, you’re not going to win hockey games.”

The Devils continue their four-game home stand against the Tampa Bay Lightning Friday night.

Turris, Anderson lead Sens over Devils


Kyle Turris scored on Ottawa’s first shot of the game and Craig Anderson took care of the rest as the Senators blanked the New Jersey Devils 2-0 Wednesday night.

Anderson turned aside 34 Devils shots for the shutout.

Turris added his second of the night, and sixth of the season, into an empty net.

Ottawa has now won two of three while New Jersey has lost five straight.

Cory Schneider made 14 saves in the loss.

Goalie nods: Wild face conundrum with Kuemper and Backstrom sick; Canucks turn to Lack


All the latest from the blue paint…

Minnesota mystery

The Minnesota Wild will play the Boston Bruins tonight on NBCSN. That much we know. Who plays in net, however, remains up in the air.

Darcy Kuemper was yanked right before his scheduled start against Chicago last night with an illness, forcing Niklas Backstrom into action for an eventual 5-3 loss. Now Backstrom is also sick, meaning recently-recalled AHL Iowa farmhand John Curry is in the mix for tonight’s game.

Wild head coach Mike Yeo said he “expects” Backstrom to battle through and play against the Bruins, but whether it happens remains to be seen.

Whatever the case, the Wild are reeling a bit and need a quality start from whoever gets the call. They’ve gone 12 games without back-to-back victories and while they still have a solid record (16-12-1, eighth-best in the West), they’ve also been giving up a lot of goals lately — 19 in their last five games, to be specific.

No word yet on a Bruins starter.

Eddie’s in for Vancouver

After Saturday’s 5-1 drubbing at home against the Rangers, the Canucks are making a change in goal by giving Eddie Lack the start tonight against Dallas.

Lack had a rough first month of the season but has been stellar since, especially over his last three appearances. He posted a 22-save shutout against Pittsburgh, stopped all 13 shots faced in relief of Ryan Miller against Toronto, then stopped 41 of 45 shots in an OT loss to Ottawa.

Miller, meanwhile, has struggled lately — in his last three games, he’s allowed 11 goals on 61 shots.

If Lack has a quality outing against the Stars this evening, it’ll be interesting to see what head coach Willie Desjardins does moving forward. After tonight the Canucks have two games left on their four-game homestand, including one against an Arizona squad that torched Miller for five goals on 23 shots back on Nov. 14 — a beating that occurred in Vancouver, no less.

Not that Desjardins is trying to start a goalie controversy or anything…

For Dallas, Kari Lehtonen is likely to start.


Sens at Devils: Craig Anderson vs. Cory Schneider

Nick Foligno is having himself quite the contract year


During the contentious Ryan Johansen negotiations, Columbus president John Davidson said the following:

“We understand the make-up of our team, we understand the CBA, we understand players deserve money and players deserve to be paid the way they should be paid and we’ll continue to do that.”

With that in mind, it’ll be interesting to see what happens with Nick Foligno.

The 27-year-old is a pending UFA and playing the best hockey of his life. Through 28 games he leads the Blue Jackets in scoring with 14 goals and 27 points, is getting a boatload of ice time (19:10 per game, up from 16:04 last season) and sits sixth in the NHL with seven power-play goals.

It is, as many have pointed out, quite the contract year.

There’s no denying Columbus wants to keep Foligno and Foligno wants to stay in Columbus. Per the Dispatch, agent Pat Morris has started negotiations with GM Jarmo Kekalainen.

“I’m happy that they’re talking,” Foligno said. “Hopefully they can get something done in a timely manner.”

But two key questions remain: 1) What can Foligno get from Columbus, and 2) What can he get on the open market?

The first question is interesting. For all their bickering with Johansen and Kurt Overhardt, the Jackets do have a history of rewarding players that have, for lack of a better term, “earned it.”

Brandon Dubinsky’s a good example. Viewed as a heart-and-soul guy, he netted a six-year, $35.1 million extension this summer, one Kekalainen called a “well-earned contract,” adding that Dubinsky “plays like we want every Blue Jacket to play.”

Is Foligno held in the same regard? One would think he’s close. He’s been a good foot soldier since coming over from Ottawa in the Marc Methot trade of 2012, and actually played more games in a Blue Jackets uniform (144) than Dubinsky (109).

It’s also worth noting Foligno returned from a knee injury during last year’s playoffs to score this huge OT winner in Game 4 versus Pittsburgh, one of the biggest goals in franchise history:

The open market, though, will be tantalizing.

Foligno’s in the last of a three-year, $9.25 million deal that carries a $3.08M cap hit. It makes him the sixth highest-paid forward on the team; one expects all those figures will rise if he’s back next season.

Columbus shouldn’t have any issues paying Foligno. Even if it needs to break the bank for pending RFA goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, there still would be plenty of money left over — and there’s no telling what additional financial relief could come on the Nathan Horton front if he’s unable to return from a severe back injury.

On the open market, though, Foligno could also score huge.

There just aren’t many guys going to market anymore. Depending on what happens with Chris Stewart and Mats Zuccarello, Foligno projects to be one of the premier forwards under the age of 30 and given some of the deals from last summer — like the $20M Benoit Pouliot got from Edmonton, or $27.5M Florida paid for Dave Bolland — well, the idea testing waters has to be tempting.

And make no mistake, Foligno has value. Aside from career-high offensive numbers, he’s also showcased his versatility over the last few years, frequently shifting between wing and center.

“There have been a lot of times the last three seasons where Nicky has ended up down low in coverage playing the wing,” head coach Todd Richards said, per the Dispatch. “He’s comfortable down there.

“We need that depth down the middle.”

There is a final option to consider here, of course. If Columbus can’t strike deal with Foligno and the trade deadline draws close, would it be willing to risk losing an asset for nothing in free agency? Remember, this is the same club that traded away Marian Gaborik at last year’s deadline — in a year where it made the postseason.

Moulson’s shootout winner leads Sabres to fourth straight victory


Matt Moulson scored the shootout winner as the Buffalo Sabres edged the Ottawa Senators 5-4 Monday night.

Buffalo has now won four straight and 10 of 13.

The loss drops the Sens to 0-1-2 under head coach Dave Cameron.

After Bobby Ryan opened the scoring in the first, the Sabres scored three straight in the second.

Rasmus Ristolainen tied it 1-1, Moulson netted his seventh of the season and Marcus Foligno gave Buffalo a 3-1 lead.

Mark Stone pulled Ottawa to within one with 6:18 remaining in the second.

Curtis Lazar scored his first career NHL goal tying it 3-3 at 2:02 of the third.

Alex Chiasson gave Ottawa its’ second lead of the night just over three minutes later.

However, Brian Flynn tied it 4-4 to force overtime at 16:31 of the final frame.

Jhonas Enroth improved to 10-10-1 with a 29 save effort. Robin Lehner stopped 29 shots in the loss.