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Nash, Blue Jackets host struggling Senators

Ottawa (17-22-7) at Columbus (23-20-5), 7:00 p.m. EST

COLUMBUS, Ohio (Ticker) -- Rick Nash is certainly doing his part

in helping his team position itself for the first playoff race

in franchise history.

The Columbus Blue Jackets and their captain seek their second

straight win as they continue a four-game homestand against the

Ottawa Senators on Friday.

Nash recorded his third career hat trick in Tuesday's 3-2

overtime triumph over the Detroit Red Wings.

The Blue Jackets' lone representative in Sunday's All-Star Game,

Nash has registered five goals and seven points in four games

since missing as many contests with a lower body injury.

Columbus, which is the only current NHL team to have never

qualified for the postseason, is locked in a five-way tie with

Vancouver, Dallas, Edmonton and Minnesota for the eighth and

final spot in the Western Conference playoff race.

Ottawa, which has won four of its last six, is coming off a 3-1

victory over the St. Louis Blues on Thursday.

Though the Senators won for just the third time in their last 19

road games (3-13-3), rookie netminder Brian Elliott made 22

saves in his eighth consecutive start.

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