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Blue Jackets' injury woes continue in loss to Senators

by Craig Merz

COLUMBUS -- The injuries and losses keep mounting for the Columbus Blue Jackets.

A 5-2 loss to the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday was the Blue Jackets' third straight defeat but more importantly, two more players sustained injuries.

Columbus coach Todd Richards said defenseman James Wisniewski broke a finger and would miss 1-2 weeks. That came after center Artem Anisimov left the game about eight minutes into the second period because of an upper-body injury after being checked by Ottawa defenseman Eric Gryba.

Richards said Anisimov's status is unknown until after he's examined Wednesday.

"Whether I've done something or somebody did something to the hockey gods, I've never seen anything like it," Richards said of the injuries. "It seems like every time we play a game somebody gets hurt. At least that's what it feels like right now."

In the past three games, Matt Calvert sustained an upper-body injury against the Anaheim Ducks on Friday and was placed on injured reserve Monday. In the same game, Cam Atkinson sustained lacerations around his right eye after being cut by the skate of Anaheim center Ryan Kesler. Atkinson missed the next game Sunday at the Los Angeles Kings but returned to the lineup Tuesday.

Left wing Nick Foligno became the fifth forward to miss the game Tuesday because of a neck injury against the Kings. And, Monday during practice, starting goalie Sergei Bobrovsky fractured a finger and will miss 1-2 weeks.

No one with the Blue Jackets (4-5-0) would use the injuries as a reason they gave up three goals in the third period after entering it tied at 2-2.

"We've got enough good players in this room to put in a better effort," right wing Jared Boll said. "Injuries are excuses. No one is going to feel sorry for you. We can't feel sorry for ourselves."

The Senators (5-2-1) sustained an injury as well when Columbus forward Corey Tropp received a major penalty and game misconduct for checking defenseman Mark Borowiecki from behind in the third period. Borowiecki did not play the rest of the game as a precaution, Ottawa coach Paul MacLean said.

Senators forward Alex Chiasson scored on the elongated power play for a 4-2 lead after Erik Karlsson earlier completed a 3-on-1 at 3:41 of the third to break the tie.

In the second period with the Senators ahead 2-1, they killed the major elbowing penalty to Gryba on Anisimov that turned out to be three minutes of being down a man because Columbus left wing Scott Hartnell took a roughing call at the same time for going after Gryba.

"I was just finishing my check," Gryba said. "You never want to see anyone hurt. I thought my elbow was down. I wasn't trying to leave my feet. Playing physical is part of my game. I can't pass up a chance to finish a check. It's too bad he got hurt."

The Senators gained momentum after stopping the Columbus power play.

"Whenever you can make a big kill like that it's nothing but positive," Ottawa left wing Clarke MacArthur said.

He had a power-play goal in the first to match the man-up goal by Columbus defenseman David Savard for a 1-1 tie through 20 minutes. MacArthur also scored Ottawa's fifth goal.

"After the first [period] I was a little bit worried," said Ottawa goalie Robin Lehner, who made 36 saves. "I didn't think we had that much jump but the boys came together in the locker room and we had one of our best second periods of the year."

Yet, a goal late in the second by Atkinson enabled the Blue Jackets to forge a 2-2 tie after Zack Smith had given the Senators the lead 1:44 into the period. Smith was to the right of the goal for a deflection with the back of his blade of a low drive by Karlsson after the Blue Jackets failed to clear the zone and were scrambling to get back on defense. The goal was Smith's second of the season.

Atkinson got his fourth goal with 63 seconds left in the second period off a set play. Ryan Johansen won the draw to Wisniewski at the point. He pushed the puck to Atkinson for the long shot past Lehner.

"We've gone through it too when we lost our good players," Lehner said of the Blue Jackets' injury woes. "It puts an extra jump in the team, people get chances and they work really hard."

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