PREDATORS (13-13-6) 5, BLUE JACKETS (13-13-6) 2
BRIDGESTONE ARENA | NASHVILLE, TN
As cliche as it may be, the saying holds true: all good things eventually come to an end.
Such was the case for the Blue Jackets and their 12-game points streak that halted tonight against the Nashville Predators, in a game that began with a wild flurry that could have buried them from the get-go. The Predators, desperate to get back in the playoff picture themselves, scored four goals on 11 shots against Sergei Bobrovsky in the first 10-plus minutes of the game.
Taylor Beck scored his first NHL goal seven minutes into the first period, Shea Weber scored a power play goal a couple of minutes later but RJ Umberger cut the lead in half with a power play goal shortly thereafter. The back-breaker was the 3-1 goal from David Legwand, which was the result of a defensive breakdown by the Blue Jackets just 17 seconds after the Umberger tally.
Before the dust could begin to settle, the Predators had a 4-1 lead and were in danger of running away with the game, but the Blue Jackets re-grouped and a steady hand provided by Steve Mason in relief gave them a fighting chance. What also helped was a subpar second period from Nashville that saw the Blue Jackets get back on the attack and use their forecheck to generate some opportunities. The 4-2 goal came off the stick of Artem Anisimov, who whipped a spinning shot toward Pekka Rinne that was deflected in off the stick of Mike Fisher.
The Blue Jackets could have folded up the tents and packed it in after going down 4-1 and seeing their No. 1 goaltender struggle in the first period, but they were the better team from that point on. They had their chances but got the lone tally from Anisimov that brought them within striking distance after the second period.
The Legwand goal changed the way things were going for the Blue Jackets and washed out the good feelings after Umberger scored on the power play. Umberger's goal could have brought new life to the game and got the Blue Jackets back in the mix, but Legwand nullified it with a huge goal 17 seconds later to give the Predators a 3-1 lead - a goal that would eventually stand as the game-winner.
- Mason was strong in relief of Bobrovsky tonight, stopping 12-of-12 shots upon entering the game and keeping things steady while the Blue Jackets tried to make a further dent into the Nashville lead. It was his first game action since starting against the Edmonton Oilers on Mar. 5.
- The Blue Jackets gave up their first 5-on-4 goal tonight since Feb. 18 in Anaheim, snapping a franchise-record streak of 15 games. Weber's quick one-timer off a Bobby Butler feed at the left point caught the penalty killers and Bobrovsky off guard, making it a 2-0 game and putting the Jackets in an early hole.
- Todd Richards was disappointed in his team's power play tonight, especially after they put a lot of work into it during practice this past week. Rich Clune's major penalty for interference on Anisimov late in the first period gave the Blue Jackets a huge opportunity to come back, but they got little going with the man advantage and Richards said the Predators really fed off that momentum.
at Vancouver Canucks
Tuesday, 10 p.m.
Rogers Arena | Vancouver, BC