Published January 13, 2015
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Ottawa Senators have gotten back on track during their five-game homestand and close out the residency on Sunday afternoon against the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Sens had lost five in a row and 10 of 13 before ripping off three straight wins, including the first two games of this residency. All three of those wins came with backup Robin Lehner in net after Craig Anderson suffered a neck injury versus Dallas on Nov. 3.
Lehner led Ottawa to wins over Columbus, Montreal and Florida before Anderson returned in a 5-0 setback to Philadelphia on Tuesday. Head coach Paul MacLean did not lose faith in his No. 1 netminder and went back to Anderson on Friday night, with the goaltender making 30 saves in a 4-2 triumph against Boston.
The Senators gave up the first two goals of the game, but Chris Neil got the comeback started with his unassisted tally with 50 seconds to play in the opening frame. Jason Spezza, Jared Cowen and Bobby Ryan all scored third- period goals in the win.
"We were playing the right way for most of the game, minus the first couple of minutes of the game where we get down by two, but we find a way," Anderson said. "That's what matters, and we've got something we can build off of now."
Ryan potted his team-leading 10th goal of the season, but he exited the game late in the third after taking an elbow to the face. He was able to skate with the club on Saturday, but is questionable for this game.
The Senators' 4-1 win over the Blue Jackets on Nov. 5 was their second in a row in the series and they have a point in all six of their meetings at home versus Columbus, going 4-0-1 with a tie.
That loss to the Senators is part of a 1-5-3 slump for the Blue Jackets, who have dropped three straight after regulation since their last win on Nov. 9. They were handed a 3-2 shootout loss by Montreal at home on Friday.
R.J. Umberger and Artem Anisimov scored late in the first period, but the Blue Jackets gave up a back-breaking goal with 7.8 seconds left in the frame when defenseman Fedor Tyutin lost the puck at his own blue line. That led to a breakaway goal by Montreal's Alex Galchenyuk.
"We just shovel (the puck) back to our defenseman, a bouncing puck, and it's a tough play for (Tyutin). It's a tough play, puck bouncing and he tries to make a play. Just a bad decision," Columbus head coach Todd Richards said.
Montreal got the game-tying goal in the second period and then scored the lone shootout goal.
Columbus wasted a 38-save effort by Curtis McElhinney.
The defeat came on the same day it was learned that winger Marian Gaborik will miss the next 4-to-6 weeks with a sprained knee. He has five goals and 11 points in 17 games this season, but is without a goal in his previous eight games.
Columbus begins a five-game road trip having lost six straight as the guest (0-4-2) and will have Sergei Bobrovsky back in net for the opener. He is 3-1-1 with a 2.37 goals against average in five career meetings with the Sens.
Anderson is 8-3-0 with a 2.39 GAA and one shutout in 11 lifetime encounters with the Blue Jackets.