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FINAL: Blue Jackets 4, Predators 3 (OT)

Columbus keeps its Thursday night run going on Panarin's winner

by Jeff Svoboda @JacketsInsider /

The Blue Jackets (25-15-3) continued their Thursday magic, improving to 12-0 this season on the day of the week with a 3-2 victory against Central Division-leading Nashville (27-16-3) at Nationwide Arena. 

Game in a Paragraph 

In captain Nick Foligno's return to the ice after four games away to be with his daughter, Boone Jenner got the team on the board in the early going and the score held through two periods thanks to some standout goaltending by Joonas Korpisalo. Nashville tied the game early in the third, setting off a wild finish. Goals by Artemi Panarin and Jenner just 11 seconds apart gave Columbus a 3-1 lead, but Nashville responded with two of their own to tie it with 4:15 to go. Finally, in overtime, Panarin's second goal of the night was the winner.

Video: Panarin's OT winner gives Tortorella 600th victory

Quote of the Night

Head coach John Tortorella: "It's just a funny league. There's nothing safe. You go up 3-1, five, six minutes left, you think you're going to get things finished, but you just never know. I just like the way we kept our composure and found a way to win again in overtime."

CBJ Notables 

  • Jenner scored his first goal since Dec. 6 and added another marker later while centering a physical line with Foligno and Josh Anderson as the three combined for nine shots on goal and 16 hits. 
  • Panarin's two goals including the OT winner gave him six goals and seven assists in the last nine games. 
  • Korpisalo turned aside 32 of 35 Nashville shots and carried a shutout into the third period. 

Quick Recap 

It took 6:26 for Columbus to get on the board with the kind of hard-working goal you'd expect from the Foligno-Jenner-Anderson line. Anderson and Jenner battled in the left corner for the puck, and when it squirted in front, Jenner came out from below the goal line to quickly lift a backhander past goalie Pekka Rinna for his seventh goal of the year. 

From there, Korpisalo had to be strong for the Blue Jackets the rest of the period as Nashville pushed for a goal and got bodies in front, but the Finnish goalkeeper turned aside all 12 shots in the period. 

He was just as good in the second with six more saves, including a nifty shoulder stop on Kevin Fiala and some tough ones late in the period. 

Nashville also had a goal disallowed as it went in off a high stick by Ryan Hartman, but the Blue Jackets had worse luck in the period as the team drilled iron three times in the frame. Jenner's bid for a second goal hit the post, Pierre-Luc Dubois could only slide the puck off the post after Rinne misplayed it behind the net, and Werenski fired through traffic past Rinne but off the far crossbar late in the period. 

It got even worse for the Blue Jackets early in the third. First, Panarin rang the crossbar less than a minute into the period, and all the missed chances came back to bite the team when Nick Bonino tied the contest at 1 at 4:31. Just after a Nashville power play ended, Mattias Ekholm made a spinning backhanded pass to Bonino, who cut in and beat Korpisalo from low in the right circle. 

After such a low-scoring battle, things got wild in the final 10 minutes. Columbus took a 2-1 lead with 6:53 to go when Panarin sent a wrister through traffic past Rinne for a power-play goal, and Jenner doubled the lead 11 seconds later after a Nashville turnover. 

Video: NSH@CBJ: Panarin, Jenner score two in 11 seconds

But Nashville replied with two goals of their own 38 seconds apart. With 4:53 to go, a long shift in the CBJ zone ended up with the puck in the net when Viktor Arvidsson buried a rebound from in close, and the game was tied with 4:15 on the clock as Ekholm finished a 2-on-1 rush by scoring past Korpisalo.  

In overtime, Panarin did it all, drawing a tripping penalty and then burying the winning goal 1:22 into the extra frame on a wrist shot through a screen from the left circle.

By the Numbers 

Werenski had two assists, giving him a 4-5-9 line over the last nine games. … Nashville entered 5-0-1 in its last six games. … With Markus Hannikainen (upper body) and Brandon Dubinsky (lower body) out, Columbus has now lost 28 man games to injury in 43 games. … Columbus earned its first win vs. Nashville since Nov. 20, 2015. … Columbus is now 14-3-1 following a loss this season. ... Both teams were 5-2-1 in OT entering the game. ... Columbus has won three straight in overtime, needing a total of 2:11 of extra time to earn the three wins. ... The power-play goals ended an 0-for-25 skid for the Blue Jackets with the man advantage.

Roster Report 

Foligno returned to the lineup, as did Lukas Sedlak, as the two took the spots of Hannikainen and Dubinsky, who were placed on injured reserve Thursday. Scott Harrington also returned to the lineup in place of Dean Kukan after missing two games with illness, while Jean-Francois Berube served as the backup goalie. 

Up Next 

The Blue Jackets return are back on the road Saturday for a showdown with Metropolitan Division-leading Washington in our nation's capital at 7 p.m. (Fox Sports Ohio, Fox Sports app, 97.1 The Fan). 

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