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Notebook: Werenski escapes injury scare in Ottawa

More on the Sunday barn-burner and the Jackets' power play

by Rob Mixer @RobMixer /

It's not often that John Tortorella is rendered speechless, but he didn't have much to say after yesterday's crazy overtime win in Ottawa.

Seven goals, six against. Two power play goals for the Blue Jackets. A few goals against that will probably be seen again in a video meeting. There was a little bit of everything, but in the end, Columbus managed to score one more goal than the Senators in one of its most bizarre wins of the season.

They've won 32 games. They have two remaining this week before the NHL takes a break for the All-Star festivities in Los Angeles, where the Blue Jackets will have three representatives: coach John Tortorella will lead the Metropolitan Division team, while Sergei Bobrovsky and Seth Jones are the club's on-ice participants.

Before that, though, the Blue Jackets have to go through two more teams playing really good hockey. The Islanders are hanging around the playoff picture after making a coaching change last week, and the Predators have won six of seven after beating Minnesota last night.

No one said it was going to be easy, right? The Blue Jackets have been tested in this difficult part of the schedule, but a 3-1-0 week is a good start to the second half.

"We haven't played nearly as well as we should," Cam Atkinson said. "But we got two points."


The Blue Jackets scored two goals 31 seconds apart last night - Lukas Sedlak made it 5-4, then Matt Calvert tied the game on a tip out in front of Mike Condon - and shortly after that high, there was nearly a terrifying low.

Erik Karlsson zipped a shot toward the Columbus net with 13:25 left in the third period, and it caught Zach Werenski on the inside of the right foot…where there's little to no protection provided by the skate boot. Werenski fell to the ice in pain, and said after the game that he'd never felt that kind of pain before.

Video: CBJ@OTT: Werenski leaves game with injury in 3rd

He was unable to put weight on his right foot while his teammates helped him off the ice. In the room, it was determined that there was no fracture and he was fit to return. Werenski was on the ice for Atkinson's game-winning goal in overtime, and said he feels fortunate to have escaped serious injury.

"I was 100 percent sure it was broken," Werenski said.


At some point, it was reasonable to believe the Blue Jackets' scorching hot power play would go through a period when it was not-so-scorching. Sure, they faced the NHL's best penalty kill twice in the last four games (Carolina) and were limited to only a handful of shots in the process, but it got a boost of confidence on Sunday.

The Senators are no slouch on the penalty kill and did a nice job against the Blue Jackets on Thursday, but this time around, Columbus was able to make some plays.

After a highly-skilled play at the blue line by Seth Jones to keep the puck in the zone, Alexander Wennberg meandered into the right circle and waited for Nick Foligno to make his stick available in front of the net. Wennberg fired a pass through the skates of Erik Karlsson and right on to Foligno's tape, making for a relatively pedestrian tap-in to tie the game at 1-1.

Video: CBJ@OTT: Foligno buries Wennberg's feed for PPG


Was Sunday's game a terrific display of goaltending? Not by any stretch, but Joonas Korpisalo deserves credit for hanging in there while the Senators seemingly had chance after chance…after chance. In the second period, they scored three goals to take a two-goal lead but it could've been a larger margin if not for Korpisalo; he made two excellent saves, first on a Kyle Turris breakaway bid and then denied Turris again on what was a tremendous individual effort. If not for those saves, the game may have been totally out of reach.

Tortorella said "you have to be careful" in grading performances - particularly at Korpisalo's position - in a game like they played Sunday. Both teams looked tired at times, both goaltenders fought the puck, and defending was a challenge.

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