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Game #78 Recap: Ottawa finds equalizer in the third period, defeats Columbus 2-1 in shootout

Here’s what happened.

NHL: APR 22 Senators at Blue Jackets Photo by Graham Stokes/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Columbus Blue Jackets, five games from the end of the season, hit the ice in Nationwide Arena on Friday night to take on the Ottawa Senators. The Senators enter the game 11 points below the Blue Jackets in the standings, so neither team had much to play for outside of experience and lottery positioning.

The Blue Jackets announced one lineup change:

Here’s what happened.

Scoring Recap

The game started relatively slowly, with the teams combining for just five shots on goal in the first ten minutes. Gustav Nyquist was denied a wide open attempt at the Senators goal on a great defensive play by rookie Tim Stutzle, the best early chance. At the 9:52 mark, Auston Watson was boxed for interference giving Columbus their first power play of the night. At 11:20, the Blue Jackets took a 1-0 lead behind a power play goal from Jack Roslovic, his 20th of the season.

Columbus goal (1-0): Roslovic from Sillinger and Johnson, 11:20

At 14:40, the Blue Jackets went back to the power play as Artem Zub went to the box for tripping. This time, however, Ottawa was able to successfully kill the penalty, allowing no shots on goal. On a rush late in the first period, Kent Johnson rang a shot off the Ottawa post - that close to his first NHL goal. A physical first period ended with the Blue Jackets leading 1-0, leading in shots 6-4, and the teams combining for 24 hits.

Ottawa opened the second period on the forecheck, but Columbus and Elvis Merzlikins were equal to the task early. The Senators hit the goal post with just over three minutes gone in the period and after a long shift in the Blue Jackets’ zone, but the puck managed to stay out. After an icing, Brady Tkachuk threw a late hit at Nick Blankburg that drew a crowd, but nothing came of it.

The teams traded chances, but neither was able to find a good chance until Ottawa finally broke through halfway through the game. After a neutral zone turnover by Sean Kuraly, the Senators were able to find the back of the net at 10:02 as Parker Kelly capitalized on a two on one. Columbus challenged for offside and won the challenge, taking the goal off the board.

On a two on one, Cole Sillinger was unable to knock an airborne puck into the net on a nice feed from Justin Danforth, but the Danforth-Sillinger-Johnson line was extremely noticeable. Elvis was able to deny Kelly on a breakaway with 5:20 to go to keep the Blue Jackets in front. After 40 minutes, Columbus maintained their 1-0 lead, while leading in shots 16-15.

The Jackets opened the final period on the front foot, generating the first five shots of the period but were unable to find a second goal. Ottawa, finally, was able to find an equalizer with 12:54 to go. Following expert passing on a rush, Brady Tkachuk capitalized on the back post as he found himself all alone. Elvis had absolutely no chance.

Ottawa goal (1-1): Tkachuk from Batherson and Norris, 7:06

At 8:16, Gustav Nyquist was penalized for tripping Stutzle, giving Ottawa a power play. Columbus was able to kill it, allowing three shots. As we hit the media timeout with 4:43 to go, the teams remain deadlocked at 1-1. With 4:27 to go, Cole Sillinger was penalized for tripping and giving Ottawa a power play late. Columbus killed the penalty, allowing just two shots.

Kent Johnson made a nice defensive turnover and led a rush but his shot was denied with a minute to go. The game ended tied at 1-1 after regulation, and so we went to overtime to decide a winner.

After a back and forth overtime where caution gave way to end to end action, the teams remained tied and needed a shootout to settle the affair. Tim Stutzle was the only goal scorer as Ottawa beat Columbus.

Final

Ottawa Senators 2 Columbus Blue Jackets 1

Final Thoughts

Stick taps to Vladislav Gavrikov on his 200th career NHL game.

Jack Roslovic is red hot to close the year, with eight goals in his last six games. Roslovic was also named the community hero for the team by the CBJ Foundation, so stick taps to him for his contributions.

Kent Johnson’s playmaking talent is special. He’s going to grow in confidence and as he acclimates to the NHL game, but he oozes offensive talent. His backhander in the first period was quite nice. It would have been nice to see him in overtime or the shootout though - not sure what happened there.

Up Next

The Columbus Blue Jackets return to the ice on Sunday, April 24th to take on the Edmonton Oilers. Faceoff is set for 1:00 PM EDT.