They don't ask how, just how many.
Roman Josi scored twice, including the game-winner in overtime, and the Nashville Predators defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets by a 4-3 final on Monday night at Nationwide Arena. The victory gives the Preds 60 points on the season, as they continue to gain separation from the Dallas Stars in the race for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Central Division. Monday's win gets them one step closer to clinching.
After Nashville entered the third period with a 3-0 advantage, the Blue Jackets came all the way back with a natural hat trick from Emil Benstrom to force overtime, but at the 3:24 mark of the extra session, Josi found the twine and gave his club the all-important extra point to end the evening.
Video: Forsberg, Josi discuss Predators' 4-3 win in overtime
"It's huge," Josi said of the win. "This time of the year, it's definitely the wins that count, for sure. It wasn't our best game. I think there's a lot of things you can do better going into the second game here, [goaltender Juuse Saros] kind of stood on his head for a lot of the game again, so there's things we've got to look at, but you definitely take the two points."
Video: Coach Hynes fields questions on Preds' 4-3 OT win
"This time of year, like playoffs, you may not play your best game, you may be in a situation where [you have] the lead and we gave the lead back into a tie game, but I think the most important thing is you have to find ways to win," Preds Head Coach John Hynes said. "As we know, winning this time of year is the most important thing. Our process wasn't as good as it needs to be, and it's on all of us to make sure our process is going to be better the next time we play and give us a better opportunity to get two points."
Video: NSH@CBJ: Forsberg finishes rebound in front
After a goalless opening 20 minutes, Nashville came alive in the second stanza, and it started with Filip Forsberg's 12th of the season and first since returning from a 17-game absence due to injury. Midway through the period, Preds defenseman Ryan Ellis threw a shot on net, and Columbus goaltender Elvis Merzlikins left a juicy rebound in the slot for Forbserg to pounce on, while falling down, to give the visitors the first lead of the night.
Video: NSH@CBJ: Johansen scores PPG in 2nd period
Just more than two minutes later, Ryan Johansen finished off a pretty passing play on the man advantage for his sixth of the campaign, and with 44 seconds to play in the period, Josi blasted a shot from the point to give Nashville a 3-0 advantage after 40 minutes.
Video: NSH@CBJ: Josi extends lead on slap-shot from point
In the third, Benstrom beat Saros on three shots with the hat trick goal coming on a power play with fewer than five minutes to play in regulation. But Nashville's captain took care of things when it mattered most.
Video: NSH@CBJ: Josi burries wrist-shot past Merzlikins
"Being up 3-0 in the third, you want to find a way to bring the game home, but it didn't happen for us tonight," Josi said. "It's huge for our group to regroup, and in the OT, it starts fresh. It's a tie game and both teams have the same chance. It doesn't matter what happened in the game, so I think this year we've been doing a good job of of regrouping and not being frustrated about what happened and just looking forward and try to get the win."
Just as they did on Saturday against Dallas in the extra frame, the Predators got it done again to put themselves four points ahead of the Stars in the Central. Next, the focus will shift to improving internally on Tuesday before facing off against the Blue Jackets again on Wednesday.
At this time of the year, the stakes continue to rise, but the Preds wouldn't have it any other way.
"This is the best time of the year," Forsberg said. "This is great. You want to be in these nice, tight games, you want to play these games and they mean so much. There's a couple things that we definitely can tighten up for the next game on Wednesday. We can't sit back too much in the third and let them attack a little bit more. We'll definitely look at it tomorrow and be ready for Wednesday."
Video: Josi, Forsberg lift Predators over Blue Jackets
Preds forward Colton Sissons did not play on Monday in Columbus and is day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Forward Nick Cousins, who missed Saturday's game due to a non-COVID illness, returned to the lineup alongside Erik Haula and Matt Duchene. Brad Richardson took Sissons's center spot on the fourth line between Yakov Trenin and Tanner Jeannot.
Nashville's final road game of the 2020-21 regular season comes Wednesday night in Columbus before returning home to host the Carolina Hurricanes to conclude the campaign.