Senators end horrible season with one-sided loss against Blue Jackets - InfoNews

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Senators end horrible season with one-sided loss against Blue Jackets

Ottawa Senators centre Colin White (36), right, Craig Anderson (41) Mikkel Boedker (89) and Brady Tkachuk (7) react following a 6-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets in their final game of the NHL hockey season in Ottawa on Saturday, April 6, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
April 06, 2019 - 8:14 PM

OTTAWA - The Ottawa Senators capped an awful season with an ugly performance.

A 6-2 loss to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday finished a campaign in which Ottawa finished last in the standings for the first time in 23 years.

"It's been a tough year win and losses wise, but as a group we tried to stand up and make an identity for ourselves,” said defenceman Thomas Chabot.

"I think we did a pretty good job of that. I think when (interim head coach Marc) Crawford took over, everybody kind of took a step and we always stuck together as a group whether we were winning or losing and I think that's a big step."

Whether Crawford is back remains to be seen, with the coaching decision one of the biggest to come this off-season for Ottawa after its second straight playoff miss.

The Senators traded their first-round pick to the Colorado Avalanche in this year's draft, which could end up being No. 1 in the lottery on Tuesday night.

"It's a disappointing feeling right now," said forward Zack Smith. "At the same time, we've done a lot of good things, especially in the last month. We've come a long way. Now it's just get some rest and start getting excited about next year because we have a long time to think about it."

Pierre-Luc Dubois scored two goals to lead the Blue Jackets, who clinched a playoff berth Friday. Alexandre Texier, Riley Nash, Oliver Bjorkstrand and Markus Nutivaara also scored for the Blue Jackets, while Joonas Korpisalo made 27 saves.

The Blue Jackets, who clinched a playoff berth with a 3-2 shootout win against the New York Rangers on Friday, finished with a 47-31-4 record and the second wild card in the Eastern Conference. They'll face the Tampa Bay Lightning in the first round of the playoffs.

"I wasn't sure how we were going to be," said head coach John Tortorella. "You have an emotional letdown after what happened and the crazy game (Friday) night.

"I don't think we played badly. I don't think we played great. The game played out the way I thought it would be.”

While the Blue Jackets came into the game with an opportunity to move up in the standings, there was still some concern how players would react after clinching their ticket to the playoffs Friday. Carolina's win over Philadelphia, however, locked Columbus into the second wild-card spot.

"I think if anything it let us play looser and just enjoy this moment, too," said Columbus captain Nick Foligno. "We worked hard to get to this point so I think for our group it's just about feeling good about ourselves going into the playoffs."

Chabot and Mikkel Boedker scored for the Senators (29-47-6). Anders Nilsson stopped 17 shots after replacing starter Craig Anderson, who was pulled midway through the first after giving up three goals on seven shots.

Players were disappointed Anderson’s season ended the way it did and felt he deserved much better.

"Unfortunately, we left him out to dry," said Smith. "That's tough. He’s battled all season and we wanted a better performance for him and give him a little more help back there."

Nilsson started the third period with a great save on Cam Atkinson, which seemed to fire up his teammates briefly.

The Senators cut the Jackets' lead to 4-2 as Boedker, standing at the top of the crease, took a pass from Chris Tierney and wristed it past Korpisalo.

But a bad turnover by Boedker led to Bjorkstrand's second goal and Nash added an empty-net goal.

Trailing 3-0, the Senators finally got on the board midway through the second as Chabot beat Korpisalo with a backhand shot.

However, the Blue Jackets regained their three-goal lead as Texier scored his first career goal in just his second game.

Columbus opened the scoring just three minutes into the game as Dubois took a pass from Artemi Panarin and beat Anderson up high.

Midway through the first, Bjorkstrand slipped a puck through Mark Borowiecki's legs and dished it off to Nutivaara for his fifth of the season. Just over a minute later, some bad defensive coverage allowed Dubois to dig the puck out of the crease and beat Anderson for his second of the game.

NOTES: Ottawa's Ben Harpur missed his third straight game. The Blue Jackets opted to make goalie Sergei Bobrovsky a healthy scratch to give him the night off.

News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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