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Predators 4, Blue Jackets 3: Nashville pulls off a great, late escape

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For about 57 minutes, tonight's game was one of the most nauseating we've seen in a long time. The Nashville Predators looked lost and ineffectual, especially in the offensive zone, where they mustered a mere 11 shots through the first two periods. Heading into the final moments, Columbus led 3-1, and you just had the sense that the bus was already warming up outside the arena.

But then, something remarkable happened. Something very remarkable. Two goals in the final 96 seconds of regulation, followed by a Colin Wilson strike in overtime lifted Nashville to an improbable 4-3 overtime win, and sent the Blue Jackets to a frustrating defeat.

Video highlights and reaction after the jump...

First the video (may have to wait until 30-45 minutes post-game before it works):

Post-game audio is available from Barry Trotz, Shea Weber, and Francis Bouillon (click each name for the MP3).

Random ruminations:

  • Let's just forget all about that first period, shall we? That was about as uninspiring a period of hockey as we've seen all year, and Barry Trotz's intermission interview didn't mince words.
  • I know Francis Bouillon wanted to assert himself physically in his first game back, but that hit & fight with Derek Dorsett was a poor choice.
  • After a relatively even second period (not much exciting outside of the plays which resulted in a goal for each team), Peter Horachek reiterated the need for the forwards to assert themselves more, and said they wanted to see double-digits shots in the 3rd.
  • The Dorsett goal to open the 3rd period was pretty disturbing. When he dished the puck off to Methot deep in the Columbus zone, Mike Fisher pretty much let him skate away up-ice, and Sergei Kostitsyn didn't pick him up either as he got the puck back and streaked across the blueline. I don't blame the defense pair here, as there's no way a guy should be able to wind up like that and hit the zone with such speed.
  • That late flourish was exciting, certainly, but I'm hoping this doesn't obscure the need for real help here.
  • Oh, and if the NHL would review the cheap shot that Nikitin threw at Hornqvist after his goal, I'd appreciate it. That was pretty brutal, and came in late. I doubt anything will come of it, however.

Box Score - Game Summary - Event Summary - Corsi Numbers