Well, this was quite the game. I think most people expected quite a few goals considering each teams defence corps, but it's hard to nail down a 7-3 prediction. In the first half of the game, it didn't look so good.
After a lazy hooking penalty by Alex Chiasson just after the halfway mark of the first period, Brandon Saad was able to give the Blue Jackets the 1-0 lead. Saad was completely unmarked on the far right side while Nick Foligno battled in front of the net. Foligno was able to see his teammate wide open, and Saad had no trouble putting it home past Anderson.
Ottawa answered a few minutes later, but it wasn't so pretty. Saad essentially scored his second goal, but this time it was into his own net. Marc Methot's weak shot from the point took a slight deflection off of Saad's stick, and it was just the perfect spot to get it past Sergei Bobrovsky.
The next 15 minutes or so of the game that extended into the second period were extremely chaotic. Boone Jenner jammed home an ugly goal against Craig Anderson after he misplayed the puck behind the net, but just a few minutes into the following period Ottawa had tied it up for the second time in the night thanks to a Milan Michalek power play goal in the crease.
After that goal, Ottawa started to dictate the pace of the game with a string of good shifts. However, all it took was one missed opportunity to turn the game around once again. Bobby Ryan's shot wide rolled around the boards and caught the Senators with just Marc Methot back while the Blue Jackets had a two on one. Brandon Dubinsky received a pass from Cam Atkinson, and he used his witchcraft to force the puck into the net.
Watching the highlights, I still have no idea how it went in, as it just went right through Craig Anderson's mid-section. Nevertheless, it was 3-2. Ottawa's tie breaking goal more than made up for the weak goal on Anderson though. Mark Stone seems to have eyes on the back of his head, as he was behind the net and made a drop pass to Kyle Turris who sat at the bottom of the circle near the net. He caught Bobrovsky completely off-guard, and it made for a fascinating goal. That'll end up being one of Ottawa's nicest passing plays this season.
After that point, it was all Ottawa. Not necessarily in the shot attempts (which barely favoured Ottawa at even strength from there on out), but on the score sheet. Mika Zibanejad showed off brilliant patience and gave Ottawa the lead for the first time late in the second period, and they never looked back.
It seemed like there was going to be much more back and forth the rest of the game, but there wasn't at all. Jean-Gabriel Pageau was headed on a two on two early in the third period, but that suddenly changed to a half breakaway when Scott Hartnell blew a tire. Pageau ripped home his second of the season, and it gave the Senators some real breathing room.
The game never really felt too much in jeopardy after that point, and Mike Hoffman scored an absolute bomb of a shot top corner with 10:48 to go, giving Ottawa a 6-3 lead. It was nice to see him finally score, as he has played like a man on a mission to get $5 million (Hey Murray, get on that contract).
The 7th goal was a Bobby Ryan empty netter, and Zibanejad was nice enough to give it to him so he could get his first of the season. Essentially all of the Senators good players got on the score sheet tonight, which is great to see.
The shot attempts in the third period were better, but it was still only 14-14 at all situations, and 12-9 at even strength. Overall, it was 47-42 for Columbus at 5 on 5, and 64-48 in total. That part of the game wasn't totally encouraging, but it's hard to be mad about a 7-3 win.
Ottawa is now 3-0-0 on the road for the first time since 2007-08. We all know how great that season ended!
Sens Hero: Erik Karlsson
After not having the most "Erik Karlsson-like" start with just a 41% corsi through three games, he reminded people tonight that he is in fact, Erik Karlsson. He finished the night with four assists, and he now sits tied for first in the league with 7 points. He was third on the team in CF% at 60.42%, and predictably had the highest corsi relative at an amazing +30.73%.
When he's on his game, so is the team. It's as simple as that.
Honourable Mention: HST Line
I can't say just one of these players, as they all played exceptional once again. Mark Stone's assist to Kyle Turris was jaw-dropping, and Mike Hoffman's top shelf goal out fans out of their seats. I feel like we are quickly going to run out of ways to describe this line, as they could legitimately become a force to be reckoned with league-wide.
Honourable Mention: Bobby Ryan
Ryan only scored the empty net goal, but a goal is a goal. He was also able to collect two assists on the night, and he was second on the team in corsi at 60.71%. He may not be totally "fixed" yet, but he looked better.
Sens Zero: Cowen/Borowiecki Pairing
They just simply are not good enough. At least together. Cowen was only on for 7 shot attempts with 24 against, and Borowiecki was only on for 3 attempts and 21 against. They have never passed the eye test either, so I don't get why Chris Wideman hasn't gotten a shot yet. I hope it's only a matter of time.
Dishonourable Mention: Craig Anderson
I know how settled down after allowing the third goal early in the second period, but in the first half of the game it looked like he was going to cost the Senators the game. It may seem a bit unjust to put him in the "dishonourable" category, but the second and third goals he allowed were simply unacceptable. Against better teams where Ottawa won't be able to score 7 times, he can't be making mistakes like that.
It wasn't a huge deal in the end obviously, but boy did he ever make me nervous early on.
Courtesy of Natural Stat Trick