Senators blow lead, lose 4-3 in OT to Blue Jackets
The Sens were the better team, but they were undone by goaltending
Outside of the first five minutes and the final five minutes, this game felt good for the Ottawa Senators. They were clearly better than the Columbus Blue Jackets, and Ottawa held a 3-2 lead for most of the game. In the end though, goaltending was their undoing. Despite a shaky first period, Jon Gillies (in his 26th career NHL start) made 24 total save in the win. Cam Talbot looked very unsteady for his part, making just 18 saves in the loss. After Boone Jenner tied it up with 5:49 left in the third, Kirill Marchenko only needed 16 seconds in overtime to end it. Tim Stützle committed a rare ugly turnover to Johnny Gaudreau in his own end , Gaudreau hit Marchenko with a pass, and Talbot couldn't make the stop. The bright spot for Sens fans was that Jake Sanderson, who left the game after taking a puck to the face near the end of the third, was out to start OT, so at least he seemed to be OK.
The first period was whatever the opposite is of a goaltending dual, with five goals on 17 shots between the two teams. Cam Talbot allowed each of the first two shots he faced, from Kent Johnson and then from Eric Robinson. The second of those goals came just five seconds after the Sens had tied things up from Dylan Gambrell. The Sens were undeterred though, and in addition to Gambrell's tally (off a nifty setup from Brännström), Mark Kastelic and Alex DeBrincat gave the Sens a nice 3-2 lead.
Somehow, Gillies turned a corner, and went from lost and shaky in the first to diamond in the rough from there on out. The only goal in regulation outside of the first period came 14 minutes into the third period, when Boone Jenner got everything on a slapshot that beat Talbot cleanly. Did anything of merit even happen in the second period? I'm not sure I could say. Either way, this was a disheartening loss for a team that can't afford any of them.
- Tyler Kleven made a couple of young player mistakes, and then immediately recovered to get the puck back and out of the zone. It gives me confidence in the youngster's game that if he already has the instincts to do this, he has the ability to clean up the rookie mistakes too.
- Claude Giroux showed his incredible skill with the puck with a few knuckle-puck flip shots, sometimes in the hopes of tricking Gillies, sometimes to clear the zone without icing it. It's a specific skill that I'm not sure too many other NHLers have as good as G.
- Cam Talbot looks washed. The first two goals didn't look particularly challenging, and the third one was from outside the circle with no screen. He had a .636 save percentage in his last start, and this gam'es .818 wasn't nearly good enough. His time in Ottawa seems like to be done, but is the 35 year old reaching the end of the line on his NHL career as well?
- This Jackets team is full of players I've never heard of, due to a combination of injuries and just not being a good team. Billy Sweezey could be a character with two lines from an Al Capone movie. For Gavin Bayreuther, it sounded like they were calling him Babe Ruther all night.