Nashville Predators 2, Columbus Blue Jackets 1: Lankinen holds on for win

Cody Glass and Yakov Trenin scored early, and Lankinen did the rest.

The Nashville Predators’ rescheduled game against the Columbus Blue Jackets took place tonight, after a grinding win against the Calgary Flames last night. It felt a lot like déjà vu.

The Preds got off to a decent start before Tommy Novak was called for tripping. A strong penalty kill, including some shorthanded chances, and a good bounceback after the penalty kill helped them recover well from the man disadvantage, and they got a power play of their own later in the period as Columbus’s Andrew Peeke also got called for tripping.

Columbus’s penalty kill—and their goalie, Daniil Tarasov—handled the power play well, and the score remained 0-0 through the rest of the period and heading into first intermission. The Preds had a very strong first period, peppering Tarasov with chances both standard and unusual (Filip Forsberg tried a lacrosse goal) while limiting the Blue Jackets’ opportunities in their end.

The Jackets came out strong to start the second, pushing play down the ice for the first time all game, but a great pass from Forsberg let Cody Glass score at 5:42 to get the Preds on the board.

Nashville got a power play after that, but was unable to convert; then Matt Duchene was inexplicably called for a penalty and it was the Jackets’ turn to try and fail to score on their power play. Tarasov continued to turn in an impressive performance, even earning a TV-timeout compliment from Nino Niederreiter after making one save by taking a shot up high.

However, Roman Josi then eluded his defender to set Yakov Trenin up for a goal with a brilliant pass, putting the Preds up by two with under three minutes remaining in the second period. Although the period was a stronger one for Columbus than the first, the Preds still continued to turn in a very strong performance, rewarded by their two goals.

Kevin Lankinen was forced to make several great saves to start the third. As Columbus continued to set up a shooting gallery, Forsberg took a penalty, giving them an opportunity with the advantage. As the power play expired, Gustav Nyquist finally managed to get a shot past Lankinen, cutting the Preds’ lead to one.

It was then, once again, the Preds’ turn to go on the power play, as Colton Sissons got tripped, but they were unable to re-extend their lead. As the period wound down, the Jackets continued to pressure, with Lankinen having to make some more nail-biting saves. Finally, the Preds gained the zone and were able to force Columbus to ice the puck a few times in succession, killing time and keeping Tarasov in his net as they did.

The final push with the extra skater was too little, too late, and the Preds held on for the win despite being caved in toward the end of the game.