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Nashville Predators 3, Columbus Blue Jackets 4 (SO): Preseason On The Brain

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The Preds managed to force overtime, but eventually lose in a shootout to the Blue Jackets.

NHL: Preseason-Columbus Blue Jackets at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

The Nashville Predators fought through a sluggish preseason effort for two periods, forced overtime on a 3rd period goal by Matt Irwin, but eventually lost 4-3 to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Early on the Preds looked out of sorts, especially in the defensive end.

In the first period, Oliver Bjorkstrand scored on a wrist shot from right in front of Pekka Rinne. Twenty-six seconds later, Scott Hartnell ripped one far side past Sergei Bobrovsky to tie it up at one. After each team traded power play chances and dumped the puck in a few times, the 1st period ended 1-1.

The Jackets put a couple more on the board in the 2nd period. The first came from Nick Foligno, who tipped home an Alexander Wennberg shot. Then later in the period, Zach Werenski wristed one past Rinne to make it 3-1. The Preds found their legs a little bit in the middle of the period, but Bobrovsky made some nice saves and kept them off the board.

The “JOFI” line got the Preds back into the game in the 3rd period with some nice work in the Columbus zone. Forsberg eventually found Fiala with a ridiculous pass through the blue ice, who scored to make it 3-2. Then Matt Irwin scored from the blueline with about five minutes left to tie the game.

Cool!

In overtime, the Preds went on the power play when Fiala deked Seth Jones (and the rest of the Jackets) and drew a slashing call. They didn't score. The teams didn’t do much else, though they did play 4-on-4 for most of the period.

In the shootout, Fiala scored for the Preds, while Alexander Wennberg and Artemi Panarin scored for the Jackets.

Eh, whatever. The Blue Jackets looked a step faster, but the Preds found their legs by the end of the game

Season starts in a week!

Random Observations

  • Kevin Fiala joins the top line tonight with Ryan Johansen and Filip Forsberg
  • Some very casual penalty killing tonight.
  • Pontus Aberg worked with Colton Sissons and Craig Smith. Aberg had a nice forecheck going. Nice offensive zone work rate. His speed seems on par with Smith, so that combo should work well.
  • 1st power play unit: Joey-Hartnell-Forsberg-Subban-Josi
  • Rinne made a nice play (following giving up a rebound) to nab a wide open shot from Zac Dalpe.
  • Mid-way through the 2nd period, the Forsberg-Joey-Fiala line came to life. The Blue Jackets had been bearing down on the Preds zone, but Joey and Forsberg started pushing bodies around and passing better.
  • The Jackets are dominating in most of the key areas, but the Preds have picked up the pace along the offensive boards. That’s good to see, I guess.
  • Early in the 3rd period, Kamenev picked up a loose puck at the blue line, put on a little hesitation move, and shot a heavy wrister into Bobrovsky’s chest. He’s coming along fine, it looks like.
  • Fiala on the top line looks like a thing that should happen.
  • Smith worked really hard tonight. He looks ready to play and to make good things happen.
  • Calle Jarnkrok stopped playing after the 1st period. No word on what may have happened (if anything).
  • The overtime power play had very little going for it.