Columbus (47-31-4) finished the regular season with its seventh win in the last eight games on Saturday night in Ottawa, downing the Senators (29-47-6) by a 6-2 score at the Canadian Tire Centre. The Stanley Cup Playoffs now loom for the Blue Jackets.
Game in a Paragraph
The Blue Jackets wasted little time getting going, taking a 3-0 lead just 10:33 into the game and chasing Ottawa goaltender Craig Anderson. Ottawa got one back in the second, but Columbus led 4-1 after two thanks to the first career NHL goal by rookie forward Alexandre Texier and then completed the victory to finish with 47 wins, second-most in franchise history.
Video: CBJ@OTT: Dubois buries Panarin's feed to open scoring
Quote of the Game
Pierre-Luc Dubois: "It's not the easiest game to play in but everybody feels good after a win regardless of how they played. I don't think we played perfect, but we talked about a couple of points before the game that we have to get better at for the playoffs and I thought we did a good job of that tonight."
- 19-year-old forward Texier scored his first NHL goal in his second career game.
- Pierre-Luc Dubois scored twice to give him 27 goals in his second NHL season.
- Oliver Bjorkstrand had a goal and two assists and scored nine goals in the team's last 10 games of the season.
Columbus took advantage of an Senators team that entered in last place in the Eastern Conference with three early goals.
It was 1-0 just 3:39 into the game as Dubois opened the scoring. Artemi Panarin came into the zone with speed and fed Dubois in the left circle, and he let go a quick shot that snuck under the bar but over Anderson to give Columbus the lead.
The Jackets then scored a pair of goals just 1:25 apart to make it a three-goal first period. First, Bjorkstrand deked into the zone along the right side and then send a cross-crease feed back to the left for Nutivaara to slam home at 9:08. Dubois followed with his second goal on an odd play, as he found the puck at the post and whacked at it, and it popped in the air and went over the shoulder of Anderson before settling in the net.
Meanwhile, Jackets goaltender Joonas Korpisalo didn't have to do much in the first, but he did turn aside four shots by former Columbus forward Anthony Duclair, including a grade-A chance from the slot late in the period.
Blue Jackets rookie Texier nearly got his first NHL goal in his second game a few minutes into the second, as Bjorkstrand set him up on a 2-on-0, but his shot drilled the post and caromed away harmlessly.
Ottawa then drew one back at 8:10 of the second as defenseman Thomas Chabot scored his 14th of the year. Chabot kept the puck in at the line and got it to Brian Gibbons, who returned the pass before Chabot put a backhander from the low slot over Korpisalo's glove.
Columbus restored the three-goal lead, though, with 4:25 left in the second as Texier didn't make a mistake this time when given the chance. Again, Bjorkstrand set him up, this time on a 3-on-1 rush, and he made no mistake, gathering the puck and firing over Anders Nilsson's blocker to make it 4-1.
The Blue Jackets then nearly saw history as Cam Atkinson tried to break his tie atop the team's single-season record book for goal scoring as he intercepted a pass and had a breakaway just 10 seconds into the frame. Atkinson deked out Nilsson and seemed to have he record-breaker on his stick, but the goalie reached back and snagged the puck with his glove as it hit the goal line.
Ottawa then made it a 4-2 game with 13:28 left as Mikkel Boedker scored. He got loose alone in front and took a pass from Chris Tierney before beating Korpisalo by the glove.
Korpisalo then had to stand on his head and make the best of his 27 saves to keep it a two-goal game with about 11:30 to play as Duclair sped in, got around the defenseman and shot the puck, but Korpisalo got the pad to the post just in the nick of time.
Video: CBJ@OTT: Korpisalo robs Duclair with pad save
That proved to be a huge save as Columbus quickly went the other way and got a goal from Bjorkstrand, his 23rd of the year. A loose puck came out to him in the low right circle thanks to pressure from Texier, and Bjorkstrand just blew one by Nilsson.
Riley Nash added an empty-net goal to finsh the scoring.
By the Numbers
Columbus completes the regular season with a franchise-record 256 goals. … Four CBJ players -- Dubois, Josh Anderson, David Savard and Zach Werenski -- played all 82 regular-season games. … The Blue Jackets finish the season 25-14-2 on the road, extending the franchise record for road victories. … Columbus won the season series 3-0 vs. the Senators. … Texier's goal was the first point this season for a CBJ rookie. … Duclair led Ottawa with seven shots on goal … Atkinson had seven shots on goal for Columbus but could not score, so he ends the season tied for the most goals in a season in CBJ history with 41 (Rick Nash, 2003-04). ... Panarin finished the season with a CBJ-record 87 points after a 1-1-2 line. ... It was the second game of the season for Columbus with no penalties and the second game in a row the Jackets did not take a penalty.
Columbus kept the same lineup as in New York on Friday night but gave goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky the night off. Scratches were forwards Alexander Wennberg, Markus Hannikainen, Lukas Sedlak and Eric Robinson; defensemen Adam McQuaid (injury), Andrew Peeke and Adam Clendening; and goaltenders Bobrovsky and Elvis Merzlikins.
The Blue Jackets are done with the regular season and will begin the Stanley Cup Playoffs this week with a game either Wednesday or Thursday.