Ottawa Senators come up short to Blue Jackets in overtime, lose 7-6

Smith and Hoffman had two goals each, Atkinson scores in OT

In one of the Ottawa Senators’ craziest games of the year, they came up just short, losing to the Columbus Blue Jackets 7-6 in overtime. The offense came out firing for both teams tonight, with the Jackets edging out the Sens on the scoreboard. Both teams were on the tail end of a back-to-back, with Mike Condon making yet another start.

The first period started off fast for both teams, as Zack Smith scored on the first shot of the game. A Cody Ceci shot went wide of the net, and made a slow rebound off the boards which confused Jackets’ goaltender Joonas Korpisalo. A small shift to the right opened up a gap for Zack Smith on the doorstep, who tucked the puck away 42 seconds into the game.

Moments after scoring his first point in six games, Cody Ceci went to the box for hooking. Columbus took advantage right away, with Nick Foligno potting his 16th of the season off a nice feed from Alexander Wennberg in tight. It was Columbus’ second shot of the game, tying things up quickly.

With plenty of scouts from other teams in attendance tonight, this game was a good opportunity for the Sens to showcase some of their potential trading pieces. Pending UFA Zack Smith scored his second of the period off a Cody Ceci shot, with Curtis Lazar picking up the secondary assist. That’s right, Curtis Lazar finally scored his first point of the season, in his 25th game. Sens leading 2-1 after only 5:33 of play, with Zack Smith already looking for a hat trick.

A couple minutes later, Columbus went to the power play off Pageau penalty for goaltender interference. The Sens were able to kill it off without facing much pressure, as Tom Pyatt made some key defensive plays to maintain the lead.

That lead wouldn’t last much longer, however, as former Leaf Scott Harrington took a shot from the point that sailed past a quadruple-screened Condon. It was his first career NHL goal (of course), scoring it with his family in attendance. Keep in mind that at this point, we’re only halfway through the first period.

The Sens got their first power play of the game off a Hartnell slashing call, and the Sens had a couple fantastic chances. Derick Brassard made a fantastic spinning backhand pass right to Zack Smith on the doorstep, who would’ve scored a natural hat trick had Seth Jones not blocked it with his leg. The play was very similar to Sidney Crosby’s pass to Conor Sheary from a couple nights ago, as Brassard was dangerous all night.

Period one ended tied 2-2, with Zack Smith registering five shots on goal in the first 20 minutes. Sens led in shots 10-8.

Ottawa’s had a couple fantastic periods in their recent stretch of games, and tonight’s second period is definitely up there. Columbus struck early off a Werenski power play goal less than a minute in, although it would all be Ottawa after that.

On the power play, the Sens generated chance after chance, with Mike Hoffman and Kyle Turris both getting fantastic looks. After Columbus’ penalty concluded, Jean-Gabriel Pageau found Mike Hoffman at the top of the circle who made no mistake in sniping it past a stunned Korpisalo.

The Senators would strike again at the 13 minute mark as Mark Stone buried a rebound off a shot from Derick Brassard. It was a poor play by Korpisalo, who finished the night with a .824 SV%. Tonight was only his third start of the season.

Ottawa would strike again late in the period, with Mike Hoffman sniping another one bar-down for his 17th goal of the season. It was a perfectly placed shot, with a perfect release, and a velocity that probably makes Korpisalo glad it didn’t hit him. All of a sudden, Ottawa had a two goal leading heading into the final frame off of three unanswered goals. The momentum was in Ottawa’s favour heading into second intermission.

That momentum was cut off quickly by Columbus in the third, as Lukas Sedlak scored on a breakaway past Wideman and Phaneuf 1:50 into period three. Matt Calvert would get another one for the Jackets 31 seconds later, tipping a Seth Jones shot from the point. Mike Condon didn’t have a very strong night, as a large portion of Columbus’ goals either slid underneath or sailed right by him. Then there was this...

Right off the faceoff, a Cam Atkinson shot seemingly deflected off of Bobby Ryan’s stick, leaping over a standing Mike Condon and into the back of the net. Was it a lazy play by Condon? Yes. Could we have won the game had he stopped it? Maybe. Either way, it’s an unfortunate play that summed up the less-than-stellar night for Ottawa’s goaltender. Maybe it’s time to give Driedger a start? Columbus took the lead off three unanswered, leading 6-5.

The Sens weren’t done yet, though. In his 500th career NHL game, and his family in attendance, Kyle Turris scored his 17th of the season on a power play after coming close on many chances earlier. It was another weak goal for the Columbus goalie, trickling right through him and the post. The game headed into overtime tied 6-6, with Smith and Hoffman looking for a hat trick.

OT didn’t go quite as planned for Ottawa. Erik Karlsson made an incredible dash end-to-end, flying past Columbus players left and right. His shot went over the net and rebounded right to Cam Atkinson, springing him on a breakaway. He made no mistake, scoring to take the extra point for Columbus.

Sens Heroes: The forwards

Everybody in the top nine helped out tonight. Zack Smith finished with two goals and one assist, Brassard and Pageau had two assists each, and Mike Hoffman had his two snipes. Mark Stone, Kyle Turris, Tom Pyatt and Curtis Lazar all contributed with key plays as well.

Honourable Mention: Cody Ceci

Although he wasn’t the ice time leader tonight, Cody Ceci finished the game with two assists, two shots on goal and a 57% CF%.

Honourable Mention: Erik Karlsson

Despite finishing a minus-three, Karlsson had an assist on the final goal as well as four shots. Plus that play in overtime was a thing of beauty.

Sens Killers: Alexander Wennberg and Zach Werenski

Wennberg played a key part in Columbus’ win, finishing the night with three assists. Werenski unfortunately had to leave the ice after blocking a shot midway through the third period, although he was a threat whenever he touched the ice.

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