COLUMBUS, Ohio - The Ottawa Senators were getting sick and tired of close-call losses, tough breaks and moral victories. Turns out, the Blue Jackets were the perfect remedy.
Defenseman Erik Karlsson continued his scoring assault with two goals and forwards Clark MacArthur and Chris Neil also scored, helping Ottawa snap a five-game losing streak with a 4-1 win over Columbus before 13,122 in Nationwide Arena.
Goaltender Robin Lehner, subbing for injured starter Craig Anderson, made 32 saves for his first win of the season.
The Senators had lost their last two games by shootout, but they came out flying last night - both feet and fists.
"We still have a ways to go," Senators coach Paul MacLean said. "There's still work for us to do. But this is a good sign for us. It should give us confidence.
"Now we can say we're on a three-game point streak instead of a five-game winning streak, and now we go home for most of the rest of November with a chance to get ourselves upright."
Neil had two fights to go with his second goal of the season. He tied up with Columbus right winger Jared Boll and defenseman Dalton Prout in the third period.
"It was a high intensity game; both teams were desperate," Neil said. "When you're a team that's struggled like we have, you have to build on positives. The last couple of games, even though we lost, there were some good signs in there.
"As a group, we've learned. We stuck with it for 60 minutes. The reward is sweet."
The Blue Jackets only goal was scored by left winger R.J. Umberger. Goaltender Curtis McElhinney made 20 saves.
Columbus dropped its fourth straight for the second time this season.
"It's a lack of confidence and a lot of frustration," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "We're doing a lot of the right things, but we're not turning chances into goals and we're not doing enough of the little things all over the ice.
"We don't need guys to do more; we need them to do what they do better."
The Senators scored twice in the final 5:09 of the first period - the second goal, by MacArthur, coming with only 3.9 seconds left - to take a 2-0 lead.
The Blue Jackets pulled to 2-1 early in the third, ending a scoring drought of 103 minutes, 48 seconds, when Umberger scored his second of the season.
But that only slowed down the Senators momentarily.
Neil scored off the rush with 6:05 left in the third to make it 3-1. Karlsson's second of the night, an empty-netter, accounted for the final margin with 17.7 seconds to play.
McElhinney made his second straight start in place of goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky, the NHL's defending Vezina Trophy winner, who struggled in his last two starts and was pulled from Friday's 4-2 loss to Pittsburgh.
NOTES: Blue Jackets D Fedor Tyutin told Russian media outlet R-Sport that kidnapping and assault charges against his friend, Colorado Avalanche G Semyon Varlamov, were "blown out of proportion." He went on to say that "American laws are on the women's side. That's why they can go to the police for any little thing, complain and bring a lot of problems to men." Tyutin didn't deny making the comments, but he told The Columbus Dispatch: "I don't support any violence against women. I have my own two daughters. I would never want anything to happen to them." ... Senators G Craig Anderson (sprained neck) headed back to Ottawa after being injured in a collision during Sunday's shootout loss to the Stars in Dallas. He is day-to-day, coach Paul MacLean said. ... Columbus LW Nick Foligno missed the game to be with his family. Foligno's daughter was born last month with a congenital heart defect that will require surgery.