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Nashville Predators 3, Columbus Blue Jackets 1: Happy Homecoming

Road trip = success.

NHL: Nashville Predators at Columbus Blue Jackets Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports

The Nashville Predators continued their road trip with a game Tuesday night against the Columbus Blue Jackets, winning 3 to 1. The Predators had two first line players making a homecoming visit, as Scott Hartnell was bumped up to the top line to play alongside fellow ex-Blue Jacket Ryan Johansen, with Viktor Arvidsson filling out that line. Newly acquired center Kyle Turris was listed as a healthy scratch for tonight’s game, due to the fact that he was waiting to clear Canadian customs.

The game started with a bad pass from Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo, which lead to a tripping penalty for Columbus 30 seconds in. The Predators put together a decent first power play, but were unable to score, and the Blue Jackets followed up their penalty by controlling the puck for nearly the next 4 minutes, only being stopped when Pekka Rinne covered the puck and the Predators were able to clear off the faceoff.

The teams traded quick possessions for the next 5 minutes, until Alexei Emelin was called for tripping behind his own net. The Predators were able to kill the penalty thanks to great positioning and a few great clears. The teams traded more possessions before Calle Jarnkrok was sent to the box for a tripping penalty with just over 2:50 remaining in the 1st. The Blue Jackets got a few great scoring chances on the power play, but Rinne and Emelin both shut down those opportunities. The Predators ended the period with a flurry of quick shots in the final minute of the 1st period, along with an amazing Rinne save, to keep the game scoreless through 20 minutes.

The Predators were on the power play early once again, but they were also once again unable to score a goal. Rinse and repeat, as with 11 minutes left, the Preds took to the power play once again, and for the third time tonight, Nashville could not score with an extra man. They finally got on the board with over 7 minutes remaining, as Viktor Arvidsson gave Matt Irwin a great centering pass, who scored on the one-timer. The Blue Jackets had a few nice chances spread throughout the remainder of the second period, but another buzzer beating save by Rinne kept the game at 1-0 Nashville heading into the final intermission.

The Predators started off the third period firing. Matt Irwin got a few more shots on goal, and the team was looking to score again, but P.K. Subban turned the puck over in the neutral zone, allowing the Blue Jackets to score on a breakaway. The Blue Jackets, suddenly energized by the goal, took a number of good shots over the next few minutes, but their momentum was killed when Viktor Arvidsson drew a penalty that sent Jack Johnson to the box and gave the Predators a man advantage with 13:18 remaining in the game. The Preds were still unable to score on the powerplay, and minutes later Alexei Emelin was sent to the box for two minutes for hooking. Despite a few good chances for the Blue Jackets, Pekka Rinne stood tall and the Predators killed off yet another penalty. After a few shots by both teams failed to find the net, Calle Jarnkrok buried a Mikka Salomaki rebound to regain the lead with a little under 6 minutes remaining. Columbus challenged for goalie interference, as Kevin Fiala made contact with Korpisalo during the shot, but Fiala was outside of the crease and was also pushed into him, so the goal counted. Fiala, however, was slow to get up.

A minute after the Predators retook the lead, Filip Forsberg was sent to the box for tripping. The Blue Jackets moved the puck around beautifully, and Zach Werenski nearly scored off a great pass, but the Blue Jackets could not solve their power play woes, failing yet again to score on the man advantage. The Predators finished out the game with a nice empty net goal from Viktor Arvidsson to seal the victory with 15.1 seconds remaining in the game.

Random Observations

  • No Bob in net for the Blue Jackets, hopefully the offense can take advantage of that
  • I know it’s a hot take, but these away jerseys have grown on me, and I really don’t mind them anymore
  • It may (read: will definitely) just be to let Hartsy start against his former team, but I love the potential that line has for the night
  • Early power play, let’s get one in
  • Not a horrible PP, but not a great one either
  • Big time save there by Rinne
  • Not good defensive zone play by the Preds early
  • The Jackets have had a looot of time in their offensive zone
  • Dumb penalty there
  • Penalty = kilt
  • The Preds need to just get out of this period and forget it ever existed
  • That penalty was more unfortunate than anything else
  • Penalty = double kilt
  • Great scoring chances right there
  • I liked the end of that period, can we keep it up now?
  • Good start
  • Can we please get one of these shots behind Korpisalo?
  • Big hit there by Sissons, loved it
  • Aaaaand the net moves
  • Not a very good power play night for the Preds
  • Great hustle by Arvy = great centering pass = great Irwin wrister
  • I’m gonna miss Sammy G, but this is good to see
  • Freddy Hockey almost got that one, but he couldn’t hold on
  • One more to go..let’s get it
  • You know what, tonight McLeod has done exactly what he was brought here to do. And if he can do this every game, then I don’t mind him playing
  • What did Matt Irwin eat for breakfast today?
  • PK, you just can’t let that happen
  • I need Bonino and Turris in the lineup, my heart can’t take much more of these types of games
  • Great play there by Arvy to draw a penalty
  • Ummmm, okay?
  • Not a good penalty to take there
  • Penalty = kilt (x3)
  • My. Heart. Is. Going. To. EXPLODE.
  • BOOM!!!
  • Oh no hopefully Kevin is okay
  • That was definitely a good goal
  • Please please please please please close this out
  • C’mon Fil, why are you doing this to me
  • Penalty = kilt kilt kilt kilt
  • Thank you Mr. Arvidsson

OTF’s Super Duper Stars of the Game

  1. Pekka “Gandalf” Rinne - You. Shall. Not. PASS
  2. Viktor Arvidsson - Drew a few penalties, had a great assist, hustled, scored that empty netter
  3. All of the defensemen - Matt Irwin scored a goal, Alexei Emelin had a few clutch blocks, Yannick Weber did his job, and the top 3 were as expected

Tweets of the Night

Wow. Almost like when Celtics “fans” burned IT’s jersey after he was traded.

Sorry not sorry about these homecoming tweets

JoFA 2.0 with Fiala and Forsberg-Turris-Smith is a great 1-2 punch

Interesting point here.

Game Video