It’s always a strange experience for a player to be traded to another team only to return and play against his former teammates as an adversary. Usually, a player has acclimatized to a new roster between trade and competing against former teammates. Matt Duchene had hours.
Around noon on Feb. 22, the Ottawa Senators announced they would be trading Duchene to the Columbus Blue Jackets for Vitaly Abramov, Jonathon Davidsson and a first-round pick. By puck-drop that night, Duchene was the starting centre for Columbus.
Compounding the absence of Duchene was the conspicuous scratches of Ryan Dzingel and Mark Stone from the roster and with such a hit to the Senators offence it’s easy to understand why they fell 3-0 to Columbus.
Collectively, Duchene, Dzingel and Stone have scored 77 of the Senators’ 186 goals this season.
Columbus’ win, owing to goals from Josh Anderson, Cam Atkinson and Oliver Bjorkstrand, ended a two-game losing streak and captured third place in the Metropolitan Division for the team.
Defensively, Craig Anderson made 37 saves to Sergei Bobrovsky’s 22. It was the second straight shutout loss for the Senators and third this season overall.
Although Duchene was scoreless on his debut with the Blue Jackets he received a standing ovation from the Ottawa crowd at the beginning of the game.
“I enjoyed myself out there,” said Duchene, “It was kind of a good way to end my time as a Sen and I probably felt more comfortable because I was in this building.”
Anderson allowed only one goal to slip past him for the first 40 minutes of play, stopping 30 shots on net.
Ottawa gave away four penalties to Columbus in the first period, forcing Anderson to make seven shorthanded saves.
Josh Anderson finally got the puck in the Ottawa net at 14:43 in the first off a pass from Pierre-Luc Dubois.
The second period was scoreless with Columbus’ second and third goals coming from Cam Atkinson at 6:45 and Oliver Bjorkstrand at 17:14 of the 3rd period.
The game began with a standing ovation for Duchene but in the final seconds of the game, the crowd was booing the remaining Senators on the ice.