They often say a team needs to play a "60 minute game" at this time of year to lock down sorely-needed points in the standings, but 20 minutes were enough for the Nashville Predators to pull out a 3-2 win over Columbus and end their 4-game losing streak. Jonathon Blum scored a key goal in the comeback, the first of his NHL career, and David Legwand got the game winner by batting home a rebound opportunity.
The win gets Nashville back into 8th spot in the West, pending other outcomes later today.
Follow after the jump for all the details...
First, let's start as always with the video highlights and Blue Jackets vs Predators boxscore...
- The scratching of J.P. Dumont was just plain mystifying. To reiterate something I noted elsewhere, when asked why Marek Svatos was waived while Steve Sullivan was suffering from lingering groin troubles, Barry Trotz told me that the team had "enough of what Svatos brings" from guys like Sully & Dumont. So... Sully's on IR, and Dumont can't make the lineup in favor of Matt Halischuk? For a team that's 28th in goal-scoring, that's just odd.
- There was speculation that perhaps the scratch was due to J.P. waiving his no-trade clause and possibly getting dealt, but Josh Cooper talked to David Poile to defuse that. After the game, however, Twitter blew up with reports that
- Martin Erat had one of those hair-pulling, remote-throwing moments when he created a nice turnover deep in the Columbus zone in the first period, but passed up a wide-open shot to try and thread a pass through the Blue Jackets defenseman to a streaking Sergei Kostitsyn. There's simply no hope that this guy will ever score 30 goals in a season. His brain is just not wired to shoot the puck.
- The Preds really caught a break on the "no goal" call in the 2nd period. Fortunately for them, the ref who waived it off was on the opposite side from Rinne and couldn't see the puck sitting there in the open waiting to get batted in.
- That tying goal for Shea Weber was certainly a lucky bounce... good luck for the Preds and bad luck for Columbus defenseman Jan Hejda, who caught it up high. It's amazing, though, what happens when you shoot.
- As for the Russell goal which put the Blue Jackets ahead with 7:26 left, wow what a bad clearing attempt by Shane O'Brien. The guy certainly has confidence, but a backhanded clearing attempt up the middle of the ice is a major no-no.
- Frankly, the first two periods were a continuation of the frustration we've seen in these parts for a couple weeks now. Very little offensive pressure was getting created by the forwards. For example, over the last five games, the Preds' defense has outscored the forwards 4-3.
- Will that game-winning goal help Marty Erat understand that shooting the puck off the goalie can be just as good as a pass? We can only hope.
- The late moments of this one featured some spirited play to say the least, with the Columbus announcers moaning about Shea Weber punching Fedor Tyutin in the face during the final seconds. It's called hockey, and you do whatever it takes to lock down a win, folks.
- Post game audio is available from the following (just click their name for the MP3): Jonathon Blum, Blake Geoffrion, David Legwand, Shea Weber, and Barry Trotz.
And for your advanced even-strength stats...
|Even Strength||Individual Totals||Team Totals While Player Is On Ice|
|Player||Pos||EV TOI||Shots||Shts Blkd||Missed Shts||Blocks||SOG For||SOG Ag||SOG +/-||Tot SF||Tot SA||Corsi|