The Columbus Blue Jackets rolled into Ottawa with a 6-10-3 record. Top forward Marian Gaborik on the shelf with a sprained knee.
Sergei Bobrovsky had not won a road game since Oct. 10. And the Jackets proceeded to roll over the Senators 4-1, dropping Ottawa to 8-8-4 for this season.
What’s up with the Senators? After losing five games in a row, they won four of their next five games before Sunday’s baffling loss.
“We can't keep battling back every game because it's not going to work,” Senators defenseman Erik Karlsson told reporters after the game. “We're 20 games in and it seems like there's a lot of games left to be played, but if we don't start showing up soon it's going to be over quick.”
Winger Milan Michalek hasn’t scored a goal in eight games this month. Winger Cory Conacher scored just four points in his first 19 games.
Coach Paul MacLean isn’t getting what he needs from his defensive corps, either. He had puck-movers Patrick Wiercioch and Joe Corvo in street clothes Sunday as healthy scratches.
“At some point and time when you hit 30 (games) you are what you are, and if this is what we are as an inconsistent group, it's not going to be much fun,” MacLean said during his postgame media conference. “We'll examine all that stuff and we'll see if we need to make changes, but we need to do something.
“At the end of the day, it comes down to the guys wearing the sweaters. They have to be ready to play."