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game recap

Predators complete season-opening sweep of Blue Jackets

Score four in third period for second straight win

by Robby Stanley / Independent Correspondent

Sissons' gorgeous tally

CBJ@NSH: Sissons scores after filthy deke

Colton Sissons makes a fantastic move in front and slips the puck into the net, extending the Predators' lead to 5-2 in the 3rd

  • 00:41 •

NASHVILLE -- The Nashville Predators scored four goals in the third period, and Juuse Saros made 42 saves for a 5-2 win against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Bridgestone Arena on Saturday.

Filip Forsberg and Luke Kunin each scored his second goal of the season for the Predators, who started the season with two wins here against the Blue Jackets.

"It was a little bit up and down," Nashville forward Colton Sissons said. "We gave up some pretty good looks coming our way but capitalized on our chances that we got offensively, which is always nice and it got us a huge win."

Video: CBJ@NSH: Forsberg steals puck and buries wrister

Nick Foligno and Alexandre Texier scored for the Blue Jackets, and Elvis Merzlikins made 28 saves in his first start.

"We were right there, so I'm not sure what led us to get away from our style of play," Columbus forward Cam Atkinson said. "They just capitalized on their opportunities. Forsberg comes right down and scores, but we get one right back. We're right in it."

Brad Richardson gave the Predators a 3-2 lead at 11:00 of the third period on a rebound off of a shot by Mattias Ekholm. Kunin made it 4-2 at 14:28 on a backhand from the slot. Sissons scored for a 5-2 lead at 15:22 on a backhand-to-forehand deke off a pass from Viktor Arvidsson.

"I don't really know what happened," Richardson said. "We were kind of trading chances in the third a little bit. It was a better period. I don't think we had our best stuff tonight. [Juuse] kind of held us in there for most of the night, but you've got to find ways to win and we did. We'll take it."

Video: CBJ@NSH: Richardson fires rebound past Merzlikins

Foligno gave the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead at 7:58 of the first period. Michael Del Zotto drove to the net, and Foligno got to the rebound. Rocco Grimaldi tied it 1-1 at 9:44 on a slap shot from the right circle.

"I'm looking at some of the encouraging stuff we did tonight," Columbus coach John Tortorella said. "We developed 25 scoring chances. Do we need to clean up some stuff? Sure. But I'm encouraged by a lot of different things with our hockey club tonight."

Forsberg gave the Predators a 2-1 lead at 1:43 of the third period on a wrist shot from the left circle. Texier tied it 2-2 at 5:47 on a redirection of a shot by Liam Foudy.

Nashville scored two third-period goals to win 3-1 Thursday.

Video: CBJ@NSH: Texier scores on nifty deflection

"In the games, we didn't score first and we had to come from behind and wound up tying the game," Predators coach John Hynes said. "It was a little bit of adversity in both games, which I do like. When we wound up finding a way to score, it was later in the game. When you play in tight games like this, there's great learning lessons from it, and I think they're really good for this hockey team. How you have to play the game the right way and your decisions matter and every play matters.

"It's not that you're up and you can do whatever you want. When you're in tight hockey games, you really have to be mentally tough, mentally focused. You have to continue to battle. You have to do the right things. You've got to have mental stamina and competitive stamina, and I think that's what we've taken out of these games and something that we've got to continue to build off of."

Saros made 71 saves on 74 shots to begin the season.

"I'm feeling good," he said. "It's a good start, two wins. But obviously there's a lot of hockey to be played in a short time, so you just try to focus on getting better every day and every game. It's a good start, and we've just got to keep building on this thing."

Video: Predators beat Blue Jackets behind four-goal 3rd

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