Derek MacKenzie summed up today's game thusly: "It was an honest effort, and we got an honest result."
The Blue Jackets had all hands on deck - no passengers this afternoon at the Canadian Tire Centre - and got back to playing their relentless, in-your-face brand of hockey in a 4-1 win over a Senators club that's been playing some really good hockey. Ryan Johansen picked up a goal and an assist, Sergei Bobrovsky made 29 saves (losing his shutout in the final minutes), and the Blue Jackets were helped along by a season-high three power play goals this afternoon.
They led 1-0 after the opening period, 3-0 after the second and MacKenzie supplied the 4-0 goal midway through the final period to salt it away for the Jackets, who recorded two very important points as they opened up a five-game road trip through Canada. And for a team that has struggled in recent years with afternoon games, the Blue Jackets were the team that started this game on time and got to work right away.
And two nights after Todd Richards publicly expressed frustration with the performance of his top players, the Blue Jackets got major contributions from that part of the lineup.
Johansen's power play goal started it, then RJ Umberger scored a power play goal of his own in the second period. Fedor Tyutin ripped a slapper past Craig Anderson at the tail end of a 5-on-3 to increase the Jackets' lead to 3-0 later in the middle frame, and they really clamped down from there. Richards said today might have been the Blue Jackets' most solid game in front of their goaltender, and despite losing the shutout, he really liked how they limited the Senators' chances and took away a lot of room to make plays - especially when Ottawa operated on the power play.
Leading 2-0 and just minutes after withstanding a push from the Senators, the Blue Jackets were handed 27 seconds of a two-man advantage and they capitalized. Chris Phillips broke his stick and Ottawa was down to (for all intents and purposes) two men, leaving a little extra room for Tyutin to walk in and blast home the 3-0 goal. It was a dagger for the Senators, who were unable to generate any momentum in the Jackets' end and were hampered by losing the special teams battle.
1. RYAN JOHANSEN (CBJ)
Johansen was arguably the top forward on the ice for either side, scoring a big goal to get things started for the Blue Jackets and also putting forth a solid effort in the face-off circle. Johansen went 11-for-19 (58 percent) on the draw, took five shots on goal and, like Tyutin, registered a multi-point effort by assisting on the Umberger goal.
2. FEDOR TYUTIN (CBJ)
His power play goal in the second period was a timely one for the Jackets, and Tyutin also picked up an assist on Umberger's tally minutes earlier. He logged 23:54 in all situations and was a horse on the back end for the Blue Jackets.
3. SERGEI BOBROVSKY (CBJ)
Bobrovsky didn't necessarily have to be at his best this afternoon, but he made some key stops in the second and third periods to preserve a sizable lead for his team. The Blue Jackets were clean and tidy in front of him, but Bobrovsky's 29 saves are not to overlooked in today's victory.
AT EDMONTON OILERS
TUESDAY, 9:30 P.M.