It was one of those nights where everything goes right for the goalie. Other than a puck-over-glass delay-of-game penalty late in the third period, Senators goalie Mike Condon was perfect. The Columbus Blue Jackets peppered him with 42 shots, but none found their way past. Sergei Bobrovsky was nearly his equal in the other net, but the Sens squeaked two past him, leading to a final score of 2-0 that hardly reflected the high-event nature of the game.
The starting lineups were uncertain for the Sens because the flu had been making its way through the roster. In the end, Mark Borowiecki was the only one who missed the game, meaning “Steady Freddie” Claesson pulled in. Casey Bailey had also been called up, but didn’t actually get to play.
The first period opened at a frenetic place. By the first commercial break, each team had seven shots on goal. From there, a penalty kill for each team slowed down the pace a bit. The Jackets had the better chances on their powerplay, but neither team could score. Columbus actually kept it in the Ottawa zone for all except for the final 10 seconds of their powerplay, but they couldn’t even really generate a good chance. A couple minutes after the Sens’ powerplay expired though, Erik Karlsson hit Kyle “Gold All In My Chain” Turris with a stretch pass that put him on a breakaway. He pulled a sweet forehand-backhand deke that caught Sergei “You’re Off The Case” Bobrovsky off-guard, leaving Turris with an open net to tuck the puck into. Just like that, the Sens were up by a goal. And that would do it for scoring in the period. The only remaining thing was for the refs to start a mini-theme by giving Karlsson and Brandon Dubinsky offsetting minors.
The second period wouldn’t start off great for the Sens. The Jackets would get most of the great chances, but thankfully for Sens fans, Mike “Straight Outta” Condon would stand tall. Scott “Suck It Phaneuf” Hartnell and Dion “Suck It Toronto” Phaneuf would get offsetting minors as well, but that didn’t really favour either team. Then the Sens’ penalty drawing would go to work, somehow getting the only two powerplay of the period despite being outshot and having a lead. Columbus would get the best chances on the Sens’ powerplays, but again Condon was ready. But then just after the second powerplay expired, Chris “Not Dennis” Wideman made a great slap-pass in front where both Ryan “No Longer a Buckeye” Dzingel and Derick “Never Was Zibanejad” Brassard were waiting. Dzingel got the tip on the puck to put it just out of the reach of Bobrovsky, giving the Sens a two-goal lead they’d hold to the end of the period. Dzingel actually got another great chance to score, but Bobrovsky made a stellar glove save, and then somehow got his arm flat on the ice to keep the puck out of the net with everybody crashing in.
The third period started off well for the Sens, with them getting the first couple shots, but from there it was all desperate Columbus. They poured on the offence, but somehow everything stayed out. Ottawa got another powerplay, when Ryan Murray forgot it was Tom Pyatt on a breakaway so hooked him, but once again, the best chance of the powerplay went to the Jackets. Zach “Calder Winner If He Had Played For The Leafs” Werenski hit Cam “Should Be An All-Star” Atkinson with a beautiful pass on a 2-on-1, but Condon anticipated the pass and got over to completely cover the play. The Jackets finally got their second powerplay of the game with just five minutes left in the game, when Marc “Always Sleeveless” Methot was forced into a holding call. Mike Condon decided a powerplay wasn’t challenge enough, so he flipped the puck out of play giving the Jackets a full minute of 5-on-3. He was up to the task, stopping everything. They almost got one by him, but it rang square off the post and then went back between his legs, where he squeezed it for the whistle. I guess if things are going your way, they’re really going your way.
After missing on the 5-on-3, John Tortorella would pull the goalie to keep a 2-player advantage, but it was for nothing. The Sens would hold on, giving Mike Condon a 42-save shutout, his third shutout of the year, and the fourth of his career.
Sens Hero: Mike Condon
That needless penalty with four minutes left almost cost him this spot, but 42 saves without allowing a single goal almost always gets you a hero nod. I’ve said a couple times that there were games he stood tall without having to make a spectacular save, but this wasn’t one. He made some great saves and was oozing confidence all night. He tracked every rebound, and somehow found the puck when every Columbus forward was simultaneously crashing the net. It was a great performance.
Honourable Mention: Ryan Dzingel
He had a goal, could’ve had another, and finished with four shots on goal. It looked like he was motivated to make an impression in his college town.
Player of Note: Zach Werenski
I hadn’t really seen this guy play before, but my goodness can he play. He led seemingly every Jackets attack, and was out there for what must’ve been the last five minutes of the game. He would’ve been up for Killer status if, you know, the Jackets could’ve scored a goal.
Recap Zero: Nicknames
Who let this clown write this kind of garbage for a recap anyway?