The Nashville Predators fought back from a 2-0 deficit, but ultimately fell 3-2 in overtime to the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday night at Bridgestone Arena. P.K. Subban and Viktor Arvidsson tallied for the Preds, and goaltender Pekka Rinne made 20 saves in his first action of the preseason.
The Predators found a way to generate chances for a majority of the evening, and at one point held a 15-shot advantage over the Jackets in the second period, but the gap closed as the game went on, a fact Head Coach Peter Laviolette noted in his postgame thoughts.
"I was happy for probably 38 minutes or so," Laviolette said. "I thought that we were moving things in the right direction, pretty tight defensively, but then it just seemed like we stopped playing that way and lost our energy a little bit. We lost our edge on the attack offensively, so I'm not happy with the end of the game, but for 40 minutes, I thought that we did some good things."
Columbus held a 2-0 lead through roughly the first two periods, but before the second stanza was out, the Preds capitalized on a shorthanded opportunity. Subban threw a shot at the net with Kevin Fiala obstructing the vision of Joonas Korpisalo, and the puck found its way over the line to give the Predators life before the intermission.
Video: Johansen, Weber and Rinne recap a 3-2 OT loss
"We did have a lot shots earlier on," defenseman Yannick Weber said. "They got a lucky goal to go up one goal, but we definitely generated more. After the last game against Tampa, I thought we definitely looked at the offensive zone and how to generate more and be more successful. We put on some good shifts and got some good chances."
Nashville kept pushing in the third, and at 12:36, it turned into a goal for Arvidsson on a wraparound attempt to even the score at 2-2, but in overtime it was William Karlsson who ended it for Columbus.
"We continue to work at it through practice and through video," Laviolette said of 3-on-3 overtime, "but the bottom line is if you leave someone open in front of your net, you're going to be in trouble."
The Predators have one more preseason tune up before the real thing begins next week. They'll travel to Tampa Bay on Saturday to face the Lighting in their last dress rehearsal, one more chance to tweak lines and continue to build chemistry throughout the lineup.
"Everything is a little bit new; new teammates, new system, new style of play," Weber said. "At the beginning, you kind of over think a little bit to the system. Everything is in your head that you want to do. The longer the camp goes, the more games you have, it slows down in your head. You become more comfortable with your teammates and the way they play."
Video: Peter Laviolette addresses his team's 3-2 OT loss
P.K. Subban served as an alternate captain for the Preds on Tuesday night; Mike Fisher and James Neal wore their usual letters.
Laviolette mentioned names like Kevin Fiala, Frederick Gaudreau and Anthony Bitetto as younger players who stood out to him for the right reasons on the night.
Prior to Tuesday's game, Nashville assigned forwards Pontus Aberg and Anthony Richard, as well as goaltender Juuse Saros, to their AHL affiliate in Milwaukee. Forward Yakov Trenin and defenseman Samuel Girard were assigned to their junior clubs in the QMJHL. Those moves leave the Preds at 26 players on the active roster as training camp continues.
The Predators conclude their 2016 preseason schedule on Saturday night in Tampa Bay with a contest against the Lightning at 6 p.m. (CT). After that, the next time the Preds return to game action comes on Oct. 14, Opening Night, against the Chicago Blackhawks.