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Blue Jackets find offense vs. Senators

The SportsXchange

OTTAWA -- The Columbus Blue Jackets finally found what they have been looking for the past week as they located the one extra point that has been eluding them.

After losing their previous three games in either overtime or a shootout, the Blue Jackets scored a 4-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators Sunday afternoon at Canadian Tire Centre.

The formula for success was three power-play goals and some steady net-minding by goalie Sergei Bobrovsky, who stopped 29 of 30 shots.

"We just couldn't find a way to get that extra point," Columbus winger Nick Foligno said. "We talked about it before the game; we're just going to play a grinding style, nothing fancy, and we really did that today.

"Our power play was huge, our penalty kill was great and (Bobrovsky) did what he does best. It's a big win for our team. It gives us a lot of confidence."

The Blue Jackets' goals came from center Derek MacKenzie, center R.J. Umberger, center Ryan Johansen and defenseman Fedor Tyutin.

Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson scored on the power play with 2:14 to play, spoiling Bobrovsky's bid for his first shutout of the season.

Ottawa goalie Craig Anderson, who faced just 22 shots, was on the bench for an extra attacker at the time.

It was a disappointing effort by the Senators, who rallied with three third-period goals to beat the Boston Bruins Friday.

"At some point in time, when you get to (the) 30 (game mark), you are what you are," Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "And if this is what we are, an inconsistent group, it's not going to be much fun."

The Blue Jackets needed just 12 seconds of their first power play to score the game's opening goal. Senators defenseman Marc Methot barely settled into the box when Johansen beat Anderson with a shot to the stick side at 4:50 of the opening period.

That put the Senators in a familiar position -- behind. They have allowed the opposition to score first in 14 of 20 games.

"Regardless of the time of the start of the game, you've still got to be ready, prepared to play," said Anderson, whose team has come out especially flat in afternoon starts. "That's our job, to be ready to go and be ready to play a full 60 minutes. "At this point, everybody's got to come together and figure out why each individual is not ready to play at the start, if that's the case. You have to find a way to get yourself physically and mentally prepared to play the game."

Senators defenseman Marc Borowiecki was seated in the penalty box for just 8 seconds when Umberger scored to put Columbus up by two goals at 4:13 of the second.

Then, just past the midway mark of the period, a 5-on-3 Blue Jackets power play became an even bigger advantage when Senators defenseman Chris Phillips had his stick break while blocking a shot.

Moments later, Tyutin made it 3-0 with a shot from the point.

MacKenzie's goal, the only one scored in an even strength situation, came at 5:27 of the third.

While it was the first of a four-game road trip for the Blue Jackets (7-10-3), the Senators (8-8-4) are in Philadelphia Tuesday for one of their rare road games of the month.

"I thought, as a team the last three games that we've lost in overtime, we've been taking strides and doing a lot of good things," said Johansen, who also had an assist and led the Blue Jackets with five shots on goal. "We're just focused on doing that complete game, and I thought today we did that. Starting with (Bobrovsky) all the way up to our forwards, everybody was great. We're going to need that throughout this road trip and the rest of the year."

Notes: Blue Jackets LW Boone Jenner returned to the lineup after a nine-game absence with a leg injury. Playing on a line with C Brandon Dubinsky and RW Cam Atkinson, Jenner had plenty of jump out of gate. He led all players with five first-period hits. ... Senators RW Erik Condra returned to the lineup after missing six games with a leg injury. To make room for him, the Senators put tough-guy LW Matt Kassian in the press box as a healthy scratch. ... Blue Jackets LW Nick Foligno was playing for the first time in Ottawa since he was obtained in a July 1, 2012 trade with the Senators. Foligno has missed six games this season to be with his family, as his newborn daughter deals with a heart condition. She recently had successful surgery in Boston. "She's doing awesome," Foligno said before the game. "What a fighter. She must be like her mother." ... The Senators have given up the first goal in 14 of 20 games this season. They are 5-0-1 when scoring first.
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