It was another uneven effort for the Ottawa Senators, and in the end it was special teams that proved to be the undoing of the Sens, as the Blue Jackets returned the favor from a couple of weeks ago in beating Ottawa on their home ice 4-1.
Columbus got on the board first, a trend for the Senators, when Ryan Johansen made Ottawa pay for Marc Methot‘s holding penalty against him by capitalizing on the power play. Columbus outshot Ottawa 10-5 in the first period and that goal stood up as the teams broke for intermission.
The weak penalty kill effort carried over to the 2nd, where early on the Blue Jackets R.J. Umberger tipped Johansen’s shot past Anderson to give the Blue Jackets a 2 goal lead on the first two power plays of the game. The third power play was multiplied as Eric Gryba was joined by Mark Borowiecki in the box, giving Columbus a lengthy 5 on 3, and again they made no mistake as Fedor Tyutin made it 3-0 through 2. Ottawa had the better of the play 5-on-5, but couldn’t solve Sergei Bobrovsky.
Columbus took a 4 goal lead with their first even strength goal of the game early in the third, courtesy Derek MacKenzie. Shortly after that goal, Borowiecki tried to give his team a spark with a big open ice hit on Jared Boll. He devastated Boll, and was then jumped by James Wisniewski, who didn’t fare so well in the wrestling match against the much bigger Senator. Somehow Borowiecki ended up with a major for elbowing and a game misconduct, while Wisniewski got an instigator and 10 minute misconduct. It helped some, as the Senators took the play to the Blue Jackets, but didn’t break the shutout until Erik Karlsson‘s power play marker with just 2:27 remaining.
SENSHOT’S PLAYER OF THE GAME
This was such an uneven effort that it is tough to pick someone who stood out. Karlsson played over 33 minutes, but that seemed to work to his detriment as he often looked sluggish, especially the shift after the power play where he has played almost the full 2 minutes. Jason Spezza was over 70% on the draw but had 3 giveaways.
NOTES & OBSERVATIONS
- Sunday afternoon (1pm puck drop) plus a weak draw like the Blue Jackets resulted in just over 15,000 announced attendance, but by my estimation if there was more than 13,000 actually there, I would be shocked.
- Borowiecki’s major was not warranted in my opinion, as his hands were down and it certainly wasn’t elbowing. The near ref, who is supposed to be watching the puck, which had just been played by Boll, didn’t make the call. It was made by the referee who was a zone and a half away, and couldn’t possibly have seen if the elbow made contact based on where the hit happened. He would have needed x-ray vision to see through Borowiecki’s body. Anyway, another case of a referee thinking something happened instead of seeing something happen.
- A third period lineup shuffle had Mika Zibanejad centering Bobby Ryan and Clarke MacArthur while Kyle Turris was demoted to the fourth line.
- A nice tribute and applause to former Senator Nick Foligno, whose newborn daughter has been going through some trying times health-wise. It was the Senators’ former first round pick’s first game in Ottawa since he was traded for Marc Methot.
The Senators head to Philadelphia to try to avenge last week’s 5-0 loss on home ice in what would have to go down (at least before today) as one of the Senators’ weakest efforts of the season. And there have been too many of those already.