OTTAWA – Anthony Duclair could not have written a better ending.
Duclair scored an extra goal to complete the hat-trick and give the Ottawa Senators a 4-3 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday afternoon.
Duclair, who played in Columbus last season, has scored eight goals in his last five games.
Duclair owes much of his success to opportunities that were often not available to him in the past.
"I get the opportunity to prove myself in every shift," said Duclair. "Sometimes I don't have a good shift or I don't do a bad game or something, but the big problem is that I'll be back in the next shift and can prove that it won't happen again compared to before. Sometimes when I do Make mistakes or something, I sometimes stick on the bench to be happy to continue to get opportunities. "
Last year Duclair fell out of favor with the Blue Jackets and was eventually sold to the Senators, but not before coach John Tortorella said, "I don't think he can play."
The 24-year-old appears in Ottawa under coach D.J. to have found a home game. Smith.
"What I liked about him is that his work ethic has improved significantly," said Smith. "He's very responsive. He's a good team-mate, people like him. He's a team-first guy. It's great when that guy succeeds and then other people pull for him."
Connor Brown also met for the senators (14-17-2). Anders Nilsson stopped 38 shots.
Alexandre Texier scored two goals for the Blue Jackets (12-14-6) while Cam Atkinson also scored.
Elvis Merzlikins started the game, but was drawn after the first round and allowed two goals in eight shots. Joonas Korpisalo was relieved and stopped 17-of-19 shots.
The Blue Jackets did not have the best first two periods, but found a way to defend themselves in the third, only to be neglected.
"We played a good third period," said Tortorella. "It's still not consistent enough."
Nilsson scored some fantastic saves in extra time, one with Atkinson and one with Oliver Bjokstrand.
"He was good all night," said Smith. "If he isn't, we won't win the game, it's that easy. That is part of it. Sometimes the goalkeeper has to steal one from you, and I think he did it."
The senators went 3-1 in the third round, but the blue jackets shortened the lead to a quarter of an hour when Texier pushed one out of the slot between the Nilsson pads.
Texier combined the game with his second game in the middle of the period.
"They clogged things up pretty well in the neutral zone, so if we can leave them behind and put us to the test, we'll probably be at our best," said Eric Robinson. "I think the third period was a product of it."
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Nilsson believes that the senators can learn a lot from this game in the future.
"I think we played two really good periods, the first and the second, and I think we won the third round and didn't play our game," said Nilsson. "You see how good this league is, if you play a few percent less, the other team takes over … If we play at our level as we can, we are a really good team, but once you take a step down by a percent or two, it’s difficult to win at that level if you don’t play 100 percent. "
After the 2-1 win, the jackets decided to change the goalkeeper and use Korpisalo.
The Blue Jackets had a great chance looking for compensation, but Nilsson had a 2v1 victory.
Moments later, the senators made it 3-1 when Brown broke into Korpisalo alone and scored his fifth goal of the season.
Duclair gave Ottawa a 2-1 after a period.
He hit Merzlikins with a wrist in the first minute.
Nilsson seemed to be spectacularly saving Atkinson, but the Blue Jackets challenged him and the puck had crossed the goal line after being checked.
The senators regained control when Artem Anisimov scored a 2v1 pass against Duclair and buried him.
Nick Paul scored a goal shortly thereafter, but Columbus challenged again and the game was offside.
Defender Mark Borowiecki noted that he was fighting Josh Anderson after Columbus made an exception to a goal against Sonny Milano in the first phase, when the winger was shaken and out of the game.
Notes: The senators are without Dylan DeMelo, who sustained a hand injury on Thursday. Andreas Englund was recalled from AHL Belleville. Scott Harrington was a healthy scratch for Columbus.