You never know what you’re going to get for a 1:00 matinee. Sometimes it’s a sleepy start and sometimes all hell breaks loose. It was the latter on this day from Canadien Tire Centre in Ottawa between the Blue Jackets and Senators.
Old friend and former Blue Jacket Anthony Duclair scored a hat trick and Anders Nilsson made 38 saves as the Senators stuck their thumb in the Blue Jackets’ faces and beat them 4-3 in overtime.
So here’s how this one went from the beginning.
Well, it seems like Elvis Merzlikins, made the start but didn’t stick around, tends to let in the early goal, perhaps on a shot he should make the save on. Maybe it’s the whole shaking off the rust in between starts thing — I don’t know, but it has been a week.
On the first of three for the day, our pal Anthony Duclair got his licks in versus the old club. And good for him to be quite honest. Coming in with 15 goals, he scored the first of the game with Logan Brown and Nikita Zaitsev picking up assists.
Columbus was able to get that one right back, with a little bit of a break. Cam Atkinson (someone wrote about that guy recently) scored, yet again, 5v5 but it took a little bit of help from the refs. After a review on a coaches challenge, the play resulted in a goal, as Nilsson, who made a nice stab at the save, had it in his glove but past the red goal line. The goal was Cam’s eighth, and Ryan Murray and Gustav Nyquist picked up assists.
Sonny Milano left the first period after an awkward hit into the boards, getting helped off the ice. Whether it was the hit, or a mixture of that and trying to get off to a better start following Thursday’s loss to the Penguins, Josh Anderson must’ve had his coffee because he had a spark in his game early.
Following the hit and slight delay, Anderson got into it with Mark Borowiecki right off the ensuing faceoff and Josh brought the haymakers.
But in this back-and-forth first period affair, Duclair struck again for his second. Having so much fun against his old squad the first time, he brought a few more friends to the party as Ron Hainsey and Artem Anisimov picked up points on the play.
It would have been worse had Columbus not challenged yet another play, this time taking a potential third Senators goal off the board. Nick Paul’s goal was deemed null and void after the play was overturned due to offsides. Columbus was 2-for-2 on challenges for the day.
So to recap the first period:
Well...we're down 2-1 after 1. Old friend Anthony Duclair has two for the Sens. Cam has one for us. There's been a fight. A few coach's challenges won by us. Milano left the game, they had a guy leave. It's only been 20 minutes folks!— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) December 14, 2019
And then news broke that both Milano and Anderson would miss the rest of the game with injuries, putting the Jackets down to 10 forwards. Plus Joonas Korpisalo entered the game for Merzlikins to begin the second.
Atkinson had his chance for his second goal of the afternoon but missed the net on a 2-on-0 in the second, and that’s when Ottawa began to rub salt into the wound. A puck got through Dean Kukan at the blue line and Connor Brown was off to the races to bury it past Korpisalo’s five hole to make it 3-1 on the unassisted goal.
The Senators entered the third period with a lead and were 10-1 in that scenario this season. Needing urgency, Alexandre Texier got his fifth of the season, with Pierre-Luc Dubois and Eric Robinson adding assists.
Columbus was working the puck around and controlling their chances, outshooting the Senators 20-5 for the third period. They played with a noted emotion they lacked for a majority of the game, as mentioned by the Sportsnet broadcast.
That continued on as the Jackets kept pressing, and Texier earned his second goal of the game, tying the score at three.
Dubois and Robinson assisted again.
It took overtime and Atkinson who had, yet again, an all-alone chance, and again, was not able to convert. Then Ottawa got a power play — we’ve seen this before — when Alexander Wennberg went off for slashing, and Duclair capped off his day with a hat trick to give his Senators a 4-3 win.
They’re going to try this again against Washington on Monday at 7:00 p.m. I wouldn’t count on a repeat performance from the Capitals last Monday, in which Columbus really did whatever they wanted. It should be fun as the Jackets go for two-in a row against them. John Tortorella’s team will take a three-game points streak into play, for what that’s worth.
Seth Jones played in his 500th career game — 301 of those with the Blue Jackets — and Sonny Milano appeared in his 100th career game. Milano left in the first period following an awkward hit along the boards and did not return. Josh Anderson also missed the rest of the game with an injury. Ryan Murray also left the game with an upper-body injury. Ottawa’s Vladislav Namestnikov also left in the first period with blood on his face after taking Duclair’s errant stick to the face but he would return. Alexandre Texier had the first multi-goal game of his career. Today’s 1:00 start was the first of five matinee starts the Blue Jackets will play this season. Elvis Merzlikins made the start but was pulled after the first period, allowing two goals on eight shots. Seth Jones led the game on the ice (27:10). Cam Atkinson led the game with five shots. The Senators improved to 11-1 when leading after 40 minutes.