Here. We. GO!!! The battle begins!
9:12 P.M. -- MID PERIOD UPDATE: We're tied 1-1 with 7:20 to play in regulation. Brandon Dubinsky beat Chris Mason five-hole on the power play to pull the Blue Jackets level, and I can't remember hearing the building that loud. An unbelievable roar, but there's work to be done.
8:35 P.M. -- SECOND PERIOD ANALYSIS: Shea Weber has scored the only goal of the game, a wicked wrister off a broken play at 8:29 of the second period. The Blue Jackets turned the puck over inside their own end, and David Legwand made a great play to find Weber joining the rush on the weak side of the ice. Columbus holds a 22-15 edge in shots through two periods but could use some simplicity in its game in the third period: pucks to the net, crash the crease and make it tough for Mason to see the puck.
8:16 P.M. -- MID PERIOD UPDATE: The Jackets' best chance of the game so far was a point-blank opportunity for Dubinsky, but Mason sprawled with the glove to keep it out. Columbus has been buzzing, but they really could use a goal to get this building roaring.
8:05 P.M. -- More love for Bob!
7:42 P.M. -- FIRST PERIOD ANALYSIS: It was a bit of a slow start for the Blue Jackets, but they turned it up a notch in the latter half of the opening period. Chris Mason had to make 14 saves in the first 20 minutes of play, including a handful of really good ones. Craig Smith thought he had the opening goal but it was disallowed for a distinct kicking motion at the 8:00 mark, and after that point, Columbus seemed to find its game.
7:35 P.M. -- Rob Mixer supplies this latest update:
7:28 P.M. -- MID PERIOD UPDATE: Nashville clearly wants to spoil this party. Shots are 9-4 in favor of the visitors so far but the Blue Jackets have had some good looks in the offensive zone.
7:27 P.M. -- Our first check-in from the #CBJSocial Station:
7:22 P.M. -- You can't kick the puck into the net, but BOBROVSKY!!!!
7:16 P.M. -- Some good energy from both sides early on, but Nashville has registered the only two shots of the hockey game at 7:09. It's REALLY loud in here!
7:13 P.M. -- The new opening video played on the Dispatch Media Center in-arena tonight!
3:15 P.M. GAME DAY VIDEOS --
Check out our pre-game interviews on Jackets TV and the Game Day Preview with assistant coach Dan Hinote and Bob McElligott:
11:37 A.M. -- Get a first look at all the action from today's skate with our CBJ.com photo gallery...
CLICK HERE TO VIEW THE GALLERY
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11:24 A.M. -- MORNING SKATE AUDIO: Check out these interviews from the CBJ dressing room after today's morning skate...
10:58 A.M. -- ARTY PARTY: Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said there are no limitations for Artem Anisimov tonight: "He's good to go."
10:15 A.M. -- BOBROVSKY: As if you needed any re-assurance, Sergei Bobrovsky will start in net for the Blue Jackets. Chris Mason is the expected starter tonight for Nashville.
10:04 A.M. -- BLUE JACKETS LINEUP: Today's morning skate lines and pairs...
Prospal - Letestu - Gaborik
Comeau - Dubinsky- Atkinson
Umberger - Johansen - Foligno
MacKenzie - Anisimov - Boll
Johnson - Prout
Tyutin - Wisniewski
Erixon - Aucoin
9:55 A.M. -- Artem Anisimov is on the ice for the CBJ morning skate. Stay tuned for details...
9:00 A.M. -- TWO MORE YEARS: Cam Atkinson followed up a clutch two-goal performance in Dallas on Thursday by signing a two-year extension with the Blue Jackets on Friday. Not a bad 24-hour stretch, eh?
What we don't know is if Atkinson plans to run for president this weekend or just score a bunch of goals. We prefer the latter, but the former would be cool too.
GET THE SCOOP ON ATKINSON'S NEW DEAL
8:30 A.M. -- GAME DAY PREVIEW: Looking for the most complete breakdown of tonight's game vs. the Predators, including lineup notes, injuries, hot streaks and more? Lucky for you, we've got Rob Mixer's preview handy for you.
READ THE PREVIEW
7:30 A.M. -- FALCONS SOARING INTO PLAYOFFS: Did you know the Springfield Falcons (until this year) owned the longest playoff drought in the American Hockey League at 10 years? Cam Atkinson, who has developed in Springfield and was an AHL All-Star a year ago, was in middle school when the Falcons last made the Calder Cup playoffs.
There have been so many positives going on in Springfield this season, starting with rookie coach Brad Larsen's demand for accountability, Ryan Craig's leadership and an MVP-caliber season from Curtis McElhinney. It's only beginning for the Falcons, who open their best-of-five first round series against Manchester TONIGHT in Springfield.
READ THE FULL STORY HERE
6:30 A.M. -- THE STAGE IS SET: Well, today should be fun.
The "help" that the Blue Jackets had been waiting for finally arrived last night, as the Edmonton Oilers crashed the Minnesota Wild's party on home ice and walked away with a convincing 6-1 win in St. Paul. The Wild had an opportunity to win the game and clinch a playoff spot, but their season will also come down to the final day. A win for Minnesota in Colorado tonight puts them in the playoffs, but if they were to lose in any fashion, the Blue Jackets can jump them with two points.
Detroit closes out its season in Dallas tonight, meaning a Red Wings victory is also good for a playoff spot for the 22nd consecutive season. If the Red Wings falter - and they have to lose in regulation - a Columbus win over Nashville puts the Jackets in the postseason.
Since we're all pretty horrible at math, we'll continue to work at this throughout the day and provide all the scenarios for you. But, as you've come to expect, we will have all game day news covered on the CBJ game day blog - so keep it tuned right here, become one with the refresh button, and hang on for the ride.