The Blue Jackets won a 4-2 final against Nashville on Wednesday night at Nationwide Arena to extend their point streak to five games.
Game in a Paragraph
In another even game between the two squads at the downtown barn, Columbus twice answered Nashville -- which would have clinched a playoff spot with a win -- to make it a 2-2 game after 40 minutes. After a third period devoid of major chances for each squad, Mikhail Grigornenko tipped home a shot with 6:10 to go to give Columbus its first lead before the Jackets survived the Predators' push down the stretch.
- Jack Roslovic scored a goal to give him three points in the series and 100 points (37-63-100) in his NHL career.
- Playing in his 300th career NHL game, all with Columbus, Oliver Bjorkstrand notched two goals and an assist to become the first Blue Jacket with 40 points (17-25-42) this year.
- Cam Atkinson notched an assist on Roslovic's goal to give him 400 NHL points (212-188-400).
Video: Condensed Game: Predators @ Blue Jackets
It took just 3:22 for Nashville to take the lead, as the Predators tallied on Tanner Jeannot's goal in the opening minutes. He took the puck behind the net, came out to the left of Elvis Merzlikins and fired a shot that somehow snuck through the CBJ goalie to give the Predators a 1-0 lead.
Nashville goalie Juuse Saros quickly made a nice stop on the other side, as Patrik Laine centered to Liam Foudy for a redirect from in close, but Saros but the stop to keep the CBJ youngster without a regular-season NHL goal.
Columbus did get one, though, early in the second on the power play. Some nice puck movement from Laine to Seth Jones got the puck to Bjorkstrand in the right circle, and his shot went off Atkinson in front and landed at the feet of Roslovic for him to whack past Saros at the 2:08 mark, making it a 1-1 game.
Merzlikisn made a nice stop on the other side later in the period to keep the game tied, as Luke Kunin and Yakov Trenin came in on a 2-on-1. Trenin took Kunin's pass and fired, but Merzlikins made the save before Trenin lost his footing and clattered into the CBJ goalie.
But Nashville was able to retake the lead with 2:07 to go in the period on a turnover by Laine. His pass to a trailing CBJ player was too hot to handle on the rush and sprung the Predators on a 2-on-0, and Calle Jarnkrok didn't miss, beating Merzlikins past the glove to give the Preds a 2-1 lead.
Columbus quickly had the answer, though, as Bjorkstrand tied the game 2-2 with 50.9 left on the clock. Bjorkstrand worked a give-and-go with Mikko Lehtonen before skating into the right circle, and there The Maestro ripped a quick wrister under the far arm of Saros to tie the game.
Merzlikins denied Trenin again as he came in alone along the right wing early in the third to keep it 2-2. That proved huge when the Jackets took a 3-2 lead with 6:10 to go, with Grigorenko capping a long shift in the offensive zone when he tipped Vladislav Gavrikov from the center point through the legs of Saros.
Merzlikins stopped Alexandre Carrier with 4:41 to go, denying the original shot as Carrier cut through the crease then gloving the rebound, then went spread eagle to stop Ryan Johansen and cover the rebound moments later as Nashville pushed for the tying goal. Columbus then survived Nashville pulling Saros for the extra attacker and Bjorkstrand scored with 0.5 seconds left on the clock to set the final margin.
Gavrikov and Lehtonen each finished with two assists. … Bjorkstrand is the seventh Danish-born player to reach 300 NHL games. He has a 3-7-10 line in the last nine games. … Tortorella earned his 672nd career win, tying behind Mike Keenan for 12th place in NHL history. … Domi has posted 3-8-11 in the last 15 games. ... Facing the Predators' 29th-ranked penalty kill, Columbus scored power-play goals in both games of the series. … Columbus has stopped 51 of 57 opposing power-play chances against (89.5 percent) in the last 23 games. … Columbus had been outscored 67-34 in second periods this year but outscored the Predators 2-1 in this one. … Four of Jarnkrok's 13 goals this year have come vs. Columbus. ... This was the Jackets' lone Wednesday game of the year. … Columbus finished the season series 2-5-1 vs. Nashville but 2-1-1 in Nationwide Arena.
Columbus made two changes to the skater lineup, inserting Kevin Stenlund and Ryan MacInnis for the Alexandre Texier and Zac Dalpe, who are out with lower-body injuries. Other scratches up front were Kole Sherwood and Yegor Chinakhov, while defensemen Gabriel Carlsson, Scott Harrington and Andrew Peeke also were out along with injured goalie Joonas Korpisalo.
Columbus finishes the regular season with games on back-to-back nights Friday and Saturday against Detroit in Nationwide Arena.