Sticky situation for Emery

CHRIS STEVENSON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:28 AM ET

You think teams have picked up on something here?

The Columbus Blue Jackets were in the interesting position of scoring four times to the stick side on goaltender Ray Emery in a 3-2 win over the Senators at Scotiabank Place last night.

Columbus scoring star Rick Nash did it once in regulation time and again in the shootout, while Sergei Fedorov did it in regulation time and Nikolai Zherdev finished things off and won the game by duplicating Nash's shot in the shootout, snapping it inside the post to Emery's right. Coincidence or good scouting?

In the shootout, Columbus goaltender Pascal Leclaire slammed the door on Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson and Antoine Vermette, who both tried to deke.

Of the Columbus tying goal, Senators coach John Paddock said Fedorov "really ripped it, but it was probably, possibly a stoppable goal."

The Senators have lost four of their last five games, with the only win a shootout victory over the struggling Philadelphia Flyers Tuesday night.

Things are likely going to be a little tougher tomorrow in Pittsburgh against the Penguins, who are coming off a 5-4 win over the Canadiens in Montreal last night.

Paddock said he will consider breaking up the Senators' big line of Alfredsson, Dany Heatley and Jason Spezza.

"I would have liked to see some players do more to create chances and score in the first two periods," said Paddock, referring specifically to his slumping big line.

"They've got to find ways to produce chances, and turn chances into goals."

There was some good Senators news. The power play ended an 0-for-14 skid for a 2-1 lead in the second period.

"I like the way our game is going, we've played a lot better defensively lately," said Alfredsson.

"I thought our line played a little better in the third period. You know their coach, how he preaches for his guys to play defence and keep it simple. There's not going to be much room out there."

The Senators' neutral zone play remains a disaster.

The offensively challenged Blue Jackets, the lowest-scoring team in the league with just 150 goals going into last night's game, jumped on two mistakes by the Senators in the neutral zone and turned them into goals, erasing 1-0 (Cory Stillman with his first as a Senator 35 seconds into the game) and 2-1 Senators leads.

You would think scoring that early on a team that has as much trouble scoring as the Blue Jackets would put a team like the Senators well on their way, but loose play and dumb mistakes between the blue lines cost the Senators.

Teams have seemed to pick up on the benefits of firing to Emery's stick side (he also gave up a 55-footer to that side against New Jersey Saturday).

The Blue Jackets took it to the Senators. Columbus rookie Jared Boll was particularly noticeable, especially when he took a good run at Alfredsson in the second period, knocking him to the ice.

After Boll flattened Senators defenceman Wade Redden in the third period, Commodore dropped the gloves with him.

Winger Chris Neil left the game late in the first period after being involved in a collision in front of the penalty boxes. He was favouring his right leg and was helped to the dressing room.


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