COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Nikolai Zherdev got his first NHL goal. It just took
longer than the home crowd thought it should have.
Rem Murray, Scott Hartnell, Greg Johnson and Scott Walker scored goals, and
Tomas Vokoun stopped 37 shots in Nashville's 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue
Jackets on Thursday night. But Zherdev provided a glimpse of what all the hype
Zherdev, the Blue Jackets' first-round draft pick who flew out of Russia on
Sunday, scored his first NHL goal and had another one disallowed.
"I feel a little bit sorry for myself with the first goal being
disallowed," he said through an interpreter. "So I tried to prove to
everybody that I could score. I tried very hard and finally I scored my first
goal. Every goal I score I like to pump my fist. I was really happy for myself
and my team."
Zherdev, who also assisted on Rick Nash's 17th goal in the final minute, was
met with a standing ovation when he skated to the bench during a break late in
He appeared to score a spectacular goal at 12:31 of the first.
The 19-year-old pulled the puck away from Nashville defenseman Marek
Zidlicky at the back boards, then spun and went wide of the goal on the
wraparound while Vokoun braced for the shot. While in mid-air he wristed the
puck past Vokoun.
The officials spent five minutes reviewing video of the goal, while the
crowd booed loudly. When referee Eric Furlatt waved off the goal -- the back
pegs of the goal lifted for just an instant when Zidlicky stumbled as he tried
to recover from losing the puck -- the crowd booed for 30 seconds.
"Their crowd was going pretty crazy after they scored and I thought, jeez,
we might be in for a long night," Hartnell said. "Once it got disallowed, we
said maybe we got a break here and let's keep it going."
The decision to disallow the goal was made by officials in Toronto who
reviewed the video.
"They go to Toronto on everything -- everything has to be done out of
Toronto," an angry Columbus coach Doug MacLean said. "I don't want to comment
on it. It's crazy."
Nashville extended its franchise-record winning streak to six, and won for
the fourth straight time on the road. The Predators are 10-2-0-0 in their last
The Predators are one of the early surprises in the NHL with a record of
14-10-1-0. They didn't win their 14th game last season until Jan. 18.
Nashville broke open a scoreless game with two goals in a 21-second span of
the second period.
Jason York's blast from the top of the right circle was redirected by
Murray, who was skating across the crease, for his fourth goal of the season.
Before that goal could even be announced, David Legwand assisted on
Hartnell's ninth of the year.
Johnson's goal came on a two-on-one rush in the third period.
"In the second period we played with some emotion and came out with some
fire," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "That was where we stole the game
Zherdev scored on a shot from the left hash with 5:32 left to cut the
Nashville lead to 3-1. Nash then redirected a shot by Zherdev with 20.7 seconds
left to narrow the lead to one before Walker scored five seconds later into an
Nash was impressed with Zherdev.
"He reminds me a lot of (Atlanta star Ilya) Kovalchuk and how he sees the
ice, his hands," Nash said. "I think he could have had about six goals
In the second period, Hartnell burst past a defender near the right boards
and charged the net, colliding with Nashville goaltender Marc Denis at the near
post while chopping the puck high and past the goalie.
This time the officials took 10 minutes before disallowing the score -- and
the ruling was greeted with cheers.