First, the good news in the Blue Jacket's 3-1 loss to the Nashville Predators on Tuesday at Nationwide Arena.
A day after allowing three power-play goals in the third period of a 5-3 loss to the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden, Columbus returned to pristine form on home ice Tuesday.
The Blue Jackets went 4-for-4 against the Predators, and did it without injured forwards Matt Calvert and Lukas Sedlak, two of their best penalty-killers. Columbus has only allowed two power-play goals in 24 times shorthanded at home this season (eight games), and snapped right back to form - despite a back-to-back to conclude a stretch of three games in four days.
The Jackets also got a solid 26-save effort from Joonas Korpisalo, and a "wow factor" play early in the third, when rookie Pierre-Luc Dubois stripped P.K. Subban of the puck for a breakway.
He beat Pekka Rinne with a slick forehand-backhand deke, and tied the game 1-1.
Other than those highlights, however, it was another frustrating night for the Jackets (9-6-1), who've dropped three straight games (0-2-1). This one wasn't as bad as the loss to the Rangers, but it was another close one they failed to get a point from.
Rinne was the biggest reason, making a number of high-caliber saves and 35 stops in all.
Here's how it went down:
Goals: NSH- None; CBJ - None;
Shots: Blue Jackets 11, Predators 8
Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Predators 57.7% (17-11), Blue Jackets 42.3% (11-15)
Scoring chances: Blue Jackets 5, Predators 4
High-danger chances: Blue Jackets 2, Predators 1
The rundown: If it weren't for Rinne's height, wingspan and dexterity, the Blue Jackets might've taken a two-goal lead into the first intermission.
Unfortunately for Columbus, Rinne has all those things working for him and put them to good use.
Two of his saves stood out above the rest. The first was against Gabriel Carlsson, who played for the first time since he was injured Oct. 13 against the New York Rangers (11 games).
Carlsson nearly made coach John Tortorella look great for dressing seven defensemen and 11 forwards. His shot was deflected and changed directions, but Rinne made a great left-skate save to keep the puck out of the net.
Rinne saved his best work for last, though. Great work by Brandon Dubinsky and Pierre-Luc Dubois behind the Predators' led to Dubinsky sending a feed to Nick Foligno for a snap shot from the low slot.
Rinne got his glove on it with nine seconds left in the period to keep the game scoreless. Nashville had better possession numbers. The Blue jackets had better scoring chances, but couldn't convert on two power plays - putting just one shot on net during the two man-advantages.
Goals: NSH - Matt Irwin (Viktor Arvidsson, Mattias Ekholm), 12:36; CBJ - None.
Shots: Predators 11, Blue Jackets 10
Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Blue Jackets 63.6% (21-12), Predators 36.4% (12-21)
Scoring chances: Blue Jackets 10, Predators 4
High-danger chances: Blue Jackets 4, Predators 1
The rundown: Another period of hockey, and more of the same from Rinne.
The difference this time is the Blue Jackets turned up the heat on him from the first period. They dominated puck possession, created six more scoring chances than the Predators and just couldn't get the puck past him.
He made saves on all 10 shots he faced in the period and upped his total to 22 saves on 22 shots through the first 40 minutes.
At the other end, Joonas Korpisalo continued a quietly strong outing by making 11 saves. He also helped the Blue Jackets kill off two power plays, which made them 3-for-3 through the first two periods a day after allowing three power-play goals in a 5-3 loss to the New York Rangers on Monday at Madison Square Garden.
The only issue for Columbus was one rush up the right wing by Arvidsson with a little less than eight minutes left in the period. After squeezing by Gabriel Carlsson near the right-wing wall, the speedy Predators forward drew the Blue Jackets' attention and slid a great feed across the ice to Irwin for a shot from the slot
Irwin sent it into the net to the far side, over Korpisalo's glove. That's how it stayed at the second break.
Goals: NSH - Callie Jarnkrok (Salomaki, Fiala), :14:25; CBJ - Pierre-Luc Dubois (unassisted),4:37;
Shots: Blue Jackets 6, Predators 7
Shot-Attempts percentage (Corsi 5v5): Predators 51.85% (14-13), Blue Jackets 48.15% (13-14)
Scoring chances: Predators 3, Blue Jackets 2
Overall Corsi: Blue Jackets 52.3% (45-41), Predators 47.7.% (41-45)
Overall 5v5 Scoring chances: Blue Jackets 20, Predators 14
Overall High-Danger chances: Blue Jackets 8, Rangers 5
The rundown: The push for the equalizer began right from the outset by the Blue Jackets, who sensed a tying goal might swing the balance of the game.
They got it from Dubois, their 19-year old rookie, at 4:37, but it didn't matter.
Dubois singlehandedly tied it 1-1 by stripping P.K. Subban of the puck in the neutral zone and scoring off a breakaway, but just wasn't enough.
The Blue Jackets pushed upped the pressure on Rinne in the third, but couldn't buy another goal -- including Zach Werenski's missed shot at a wide-open net during a late power play.
The Jackets also allowed a goal, the eventual game-winner, scored by Jarnkrok off a juicy rebound.
QUOTE: "It's such a nice goal, but what I liked was his acceleration, because I thought he was going to get caught. But, yeah, that's a pretty good goal. I wish it stood for something tonight, but again, the kid is doing a lot of good things right now and he's growing day by day. We'll see where it goes." - Blue Jackets coach John Tortorella on rookie Pierre-Luc Dubois's second NHL career goal, which he scored after stripping the puck from P.K. Subban.