The Blue Jackets scrapped their way through this game, fighting like mad to stay in it despite sustaining another injury to another key player. But a tide-turning major penalty in the third period helped Ottawa obtain with the insurance it needed to make captain Erik Karlsson's goal stand as the winner.
BLUE JACKETS 2 | SENATORS 5
Artem Anisimov left the game with an upper body injury in the second period and did not return, the result of a high and heavy hit from Senators defenseman Eric Gryba.
In the third period, Corey Tropp was ejected for a hit from behind that forced another Ottawa defenseman, Mark Borowiewcki, to leave the game.
Columbus was 26 seconds away from a potentially game-alerting kill of that major penalty, but a quick passing play into the slot gave Alex Chiasson a point-blank chance to ensure the outcome. His goal gave the Senators a 4-2 lead and some needed breathing room with 9:54 left in regulation, and it was more than enough for the visitors.
Clarke MacArthur scored his second of two goals on the night with 8:52 left to boost the Senators’ lead to three goals.
And despite a disappointing outcome, the Blue Jackets were very much in the game until the final 10 minutes. It was a 2-2 game entering the third period and they were coming off a potentially huge goal from Cam Atkinson with 1:03 left in the second, one that gave them a huge lift after a multitude of chances to tie it earlier in the frame.
David Savard opened the scoring with a power play goal just 5:19 into the game, roaring down the right side and ripping a rising slap shot past Robin Lehner (who was very good and made 36 saves, picking up his second win over Columbus this season in as many games) for a 1-0 lead.
The Senators evened it up 1:03 later on MacArthur’s first goal, a re-direct of Karlsson’s point shot that quickly stopped the Blue Jackets’ early momentum.
Curtis McElhinney made 29 saves in his second start of the season. The Blue Jackets are off until Friday night when they face the Toronto Maple Leafs at Nationwide Arena.
While the goal at the end of Tropp’s major was a tipping point, the game changed a few minutes earlier when both teams had 3-on-1 opportunities off the rush - and it was Ottawa that cashed in. Ryan Johansen fed Scott Hartnell with a great pass and it looked as though Hartnell had nothing but net to shoot at, but somehow, Lehner and the Ottawa defense kept it out. Right back the other way went the Senators, and Karlsson slid a wrister through McElhinney’s pads from between the circles at 3:41 of the third period.
1 - Lehner (OTT): The big goaltender made 36 saves, including several key ones, to earn his second straight win over the Blue Jackets.
2 - MacArthur (OTT): Two goals tonight for MacArthur, who has been a big part of Ottawa’s red-hot top line.
3 - Savard (CBJ): A solid night for Savard, who logged tough minutes (19:29), took five shots and scored the icebreaker goal in the first period.
vs. Toronto Maple Leafs
Friday, 7 p.m. ET