Nick Foligno has landed in the doghouse.
The Senators winger, pulled off the club’s second line during Tuesday’s 5-2 loss to the Sharks in San Jose, was a spectator for Thursday night’s game against the Kings in Los Angeles.
“It’s embarrassing a little bit and it gets me angry. But I’m going to channel that in a good way ... and make sure it never happens again,” Foligno told the club’s website. “I’m at my best when I’m in the play forechecking hard. I’ve got to get back to that.
“I’ve got to get pucks in deep and work down low in the corners and get to that net as much as possible. Bang home those garbage goals and let my talents work down low when I’m gritty.”
Peter Regin, who was a healthy scratch against the Sharks, replaced Foligno Thursday.
It was the second straight game that coach Cory Clouston decided to make one of the club’s higher-profile players a healthy scratch. Blueliner Chris Campoli was a healthy scratch in San Jose and sat vs. Los Angeles as well.
“Nick has got to be better. We’ve got to get him back on track and sitting back for a game might be good for him,” Clouston said before the game. “(Regin) has practised well. When he’s played well, he’s been very effective for us. We need him to come in and give us some energy.”
Foligno, 22, Ottawa first-round pick in the 2006 NHL draft (28th overall), has five goals and four assists in 25 games this season — not exactly the numbers the Senators were expecting from a guy who was projected to contribute a lot more offensively.
Foligno, who only has a goal and two assists in his last 10 games, saw his ice time slip to 9:08 on 11 shifts against the Sharks and was minus-1.
Clouston has some flexibility with an extra forward and a defenceman on the trip.
“Peter Regin, when he’s played well, he has been very effective for us,” said Clouston. “He needs to move his feet and when he does that he gives us a few more skill options.”
It’s a little surprising Clouston chose to scratch Foligno ahead of underachieving winger Jonathan Cheechoo, who only has two goals this season after being acquired in the Dany Heatley deal.
Clouston said he isn’t happy with Foligno’s play at both ends of the ice.
“I don’t think he’s getting back to support near enough,” said Clouston. “I think shortcuts have crept into his game at times. He just has to play his game. He has to play more of a power forward game by driving to the net.
“A couple of games ago, when he scored the wraparound goal against Columbus, and in the same game, (Jason) Spezza scored his goal with Foligno piled on top of the goalie. That’s what we need him to do. We need him to do a lot more in the battle of areas.”
While goaltender Brian Elliott made the start of the Kings, Clouston hasn’t ruled out the possibility of starting Binghamton callup Mike Brodeur this weekend against either Phoenix Saturday or Anaheim on Sunday.
“It’s still a possibility. We’re, right now, taking it more game-by-game,” said Clouston.