OTTAWA - Senators coach Cory Clouston shuffled his forward lines Thursday, then admitted he's considering a more drastic move on the team's backend.
While it's unlikely he'll start Mike Brodeur over Brian Elliott in goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Clouston confirmed that he is toying with the idea of making one of his two highest paid defencemen a healthy scratch.
Both Sergei Gonchar and Filip Kuba were awful in Wednesday's 4-0 loss to the Carolina Hurricanes.
"There comes a time," said Clouston, "where you have to produce."
In the wake of the fifth goose egg laid by the Senators this season, Clouston did some tinkering with his line combinations.
While the unit of Nick Foligno, Mike Fisher and Daniel Alfredsson will remain intact, Chris Kelly has been bumped up the second line and will play with Milan Michalek and Alex Kovalev.
Clouston liked the play of Jesse Winchester and Zack Smith against the Canes and said both will get more ice time Friday. They will play on a line with Chris Neil.
That leaves a fourth line of Jarkko Ruutu, Peter Regin and Ryan Shannon.
Meanwhile, despite his struggles against Carolina, watch for Elliott to start in goal. Clouston feels that Brodeur, who has been limited to a handful of games this season because of concussion problems, is close but not quite ready for another NHL shot.
The Senators will return from Columbus after the game Friday to play the Toronto Maple Leafs Saturday night at Scotiabank Place.