Blue Jackets 3, Predators 2 (SO): Columbus Hangs In For A Win

Frederick Breedon

The Columbus Blue Jackets didn't get the memo that they were supposed to play the patsy for the Nashville Predators, as they battled back twice to tie the game after Nashville took a lead, and eventually took a shootout decision on Opening Night.

After having to wait an extra 3 months for hockey at Bridgestone Arena, perhaps a little overtime and a shootout was due...

Martin Erat opened the scoring just 39 seconds in, freezing the Blue Jackets at the blueline by looking off a passing opportunity, and walking right into the slot for a wrister which appeared to cleanly beat Sergei Bobrovski. That was answered back with a power play goal for Nick Foligno, who camped out in front of Pekka Rinne and tipped a Fedor Tyutin shot with just under four mniutes remaining in the first.

Ryan Ellis quickly put the Preds back into the lead, however, with a clever play which, with the benefit of the hockey gods, resulted in a goal. He had already snuck down from the right point on the power play for a back-door chance, and shortly thereafter the puck came back to him. He wasn't in good position to puck-handle and shoot, so instead he just shoveled the puck at Bobrovski, and it slipped right through the 5-hole and into the net.

The Blue Jackets weren't going away without a fight, however, and in the second, Artem Anisimov tied things back up with a powerful drive, lifting a backhander by Rinne with Paul Gaustad draped all over him. From there on, the game was scoreless through the third period and overtime, before heading to a 6-round shootout, in which Derek Brassard dealt the winning blow for Columbus.

Random observations:

  • Colin Wilson looked especially strong on the puck tonight, showing the makings of a difference-making power forward. That may have been why he found himself bumped up onto David Legwand's line in the 3rd.
  • Scott Hannan was invisible tonight (outside of a scrap with Derek Dorsett), and that's meant as a compliment. As a stay-at-home defenseman, he kept things simple and effective out there.
  • The crowd was in fine form, eager to bust out whenever there was reason to, but for a long stretch there beginning the second period, the action slowed to a crawl.
  • After playing 8:33 through the first two periods, Craig Smith's ice time dropped off down to just 2:08 the rest of the way.

Post-game reaction from the Preds, video highlights, and advanced stats will all follow later on, and they'll get plugged into this Story Stream.

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