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game recap

Viktor Stalberg, Senators get past Blue Jackets

Forward scores first goal with Ottawa in win against Columbus

by Chris Stevenson / Correspondent

OTTAWA -- Viktor Stalberg scored his first goal with the Ottawa Senators and Craig Anderson made 25 saves in a 3-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Canadian Tire Centre on Saturday. 

Erik Karlsson and Zack Smith, with his NHL-leading fourth shorthanded goal of the season, scored for Ottawa (35-22-6). 

Brandon Saad and Sam Gagner, with his first goal in 31 games, scored for Columbus (40-17-6), and Joonas Korpisalo made 24 saves. The regulation loss ended the Blue Jackets' four-game point streak (3-0-1).


WATCH: All Blue Jackets vs. Senators highlights


Karlsson gave the Senators a 2-1 lead at 8:59 of the second period when he scored his 11th of the season on a setup from Mark Stone.

"We've been doing a good job of hooking up this year, so he just saw me early and I tried to find the lane and he made a great pass," Karlsson said. "I kept it on the ice and that usually works for me. I found a way to thread it through and obviously, it came at a good time."

Smith made it 3-1 at 16:58 of the third period when he scored while the Blue Jackets were on a power play and Korpisalo pulled for an extra attacker. 

Gagner got Columbus back within one with a power-play goal at 17:38. 

Video: CBJ@OTT: Stalberg nets his first goal as a Senator

"That's good defensive structure," Saad said of the Senators' play in the third period, when they held the Blue Jackets to eight shots. "When they get the lead, they [clog up the neutral zone]. For us, we might have been a little too fancy where we should have just got pucks deep and went to work below their goal line. They did a good job of tightening it up."

Saad scored 2:27 into the game when he slipped behind Senators defenseman Dion Phaneuf and took a pass from Zach Werenski. He skated in on Anderson and scored on a shot to the stick side to give the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead. 

Stalberg, acquired by the Senators for a third-round pick at the 2017 NHL Draft from the Carolina Hurricanes on Tuesday, tied the game at 13:25 of the first period when he put in a rebound of Chris Kelly's shot. 

Video: CBJ@OTT: Saad fires a wrist shot past Anderson


Goal of the game

With about three minutes left and Columbus on a power play, the Senators won a scrambled draw in their own end. Forward Jean-Gabriel Pageau made a good cutback move in the neutral zone to give himself room to get a shot at an empty net, and Smith scored on a carom off the end boards to make it 3-1.

Video: CBJ@OTT: Smith buries an empty-netter for SHG


Save of the game

Anderson turned the puck over behind his net to give Saad a glorious scoring chance, but Senators defenseman Cody Ceci managed to get his stick on Saad's open-net chance to keep it a 1-1 game with 3:28 left in the first period.

Highlight of the game

Stone showed his great vision when he cut in on the left wing around Blue Jackets defenseman Kyle Quincey and sent a backhand pass to Karlsson, who was charging down the slot and scored to give the Senators a 2-1 lead.

Video: CBJ@OTT: Karlsson snaps the puck past Korpisalo


Unsung performance of the game

The Senators were 3-for-4 on the penalty kill and have killed off 24 of the past 26 (92.3 percent) shorthanded situations in their past eight home games. 


They said it

"What a player. Just, what a player. I don't know if people realize here how good this guy is. This is going to be a guy you're going to look at for the next 50 years and go, 'wow.' This is going to be one of the greats. I'm behind the bench, so I don't have to pay for my ticket, but trust me, I'd pay for my ticket every game." -- Senators coach Guy Boucher on defenseman Erik Karlsson


"The game could have gone either way. We wind up on the wrong end of it. They score three and we have two." -- Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella


"They did a good job in the neutral zone. They weren't giving us much. Everything we got was from below the goal line. We've got to put pucks in and go get them. They are a tight-checking team and we kind of knew that going into it, that it was going to be hard. We've got to find more ways to break them down and get more Grade A [scoring chances] off the rush, especially." -- Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski


Need to know

The Blue Jackets played the first game of their 14th of 19 back-to-back sets this season, tied for the most in the League. They are 10-3-1 in the first game and 7-3-3 in the second. … Karlsson played his 312th consecutive game for the Senators, breaking the record held by Chris Phillips.


What's next

Blue Jackets: At the New Jersey Devils on Sunday (5 p.m. ET; MSG, FS-O, NHL.TV)

Senators: Host the Boston Bruins on Monday (7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, NESN, NHL.TV)


Video: Senators edge Jackets in Ottawa, 3-2

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