Elliott to start against Isles

DON BRENNAN, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 12:51 PM ET

LONG ISLAND - Trying to get their No. 1 goalie out of a franchise record funk, Brian Elliott is the Senators choice to start in goal Saturday night against the New York Islanders.

Elliott has lost 12 games in a row, while Robin Lehner, his back up, has picked up the team's only 'W' since Boxing Day.

That was here in Long Island Jan. 13.

"It's been a while since he started a game .. you have to go back before the break," said coach Cory Clouston, who gave the Senators the option of taking part in the morning skate at Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum. "We've got to make sure he's on track.

"He's had a couple of good practices ... he went in (relieving Lehner midway through Wednesday's 7-5 loss to Detroit) and I thought he played well. The short side goal, I'm sure he wanted back. But other than that he made some real key saves and looked as solid as he has in a long time."

Clouston is desperate to do what he can to get Elliott off the slide, in which case giving him the start here is a good idea.

Ottawa has won both its games versus the Isles this season and has great success against them over the years.

"We've got to get him a win tonight," said Clouston. "We have to play well in front of him."

Jason Spezza will be making his return from a shoulder that has kept him out of 15 games as the Senators try to stay ahead of the Isles near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings.

Jarkko Ruutu will be a healthy scratch.

don.brennan@sunmedia.ca


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