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.
- 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.