A third-period comeback wasn't enough, as the Nashville Predators fell 4-3 to the Columbus Blue Jackets in preseason action on Thursday night at Bridgestone Arena. The result gives the Preds a 2-3-0 record through five games of the exhibition schedule that is set to conclude Saturday night.
Although the score might suggest otherwise, it wasn't a stellar showing from the home team, and Head Coach Peter Laviolette wasn't pleased with what he saw from his team in their penultimate preseason contest.
"We got mildly better as the game went on but… we can't accept that," Laviolette said. "That's a standard that's unacceptable."
After Columbus took an early 1-0 lead, former Blue Jacket Scott Hartnell threw a puck to the net from the left-wing boards that found a way past Sergei Bobrovsky for a 1-1 score after 20 minutes of play.
Goals from Nick Foligno and Zach Werenski in the second period gave the Blue Jackets a 3-1 advantage after two periods, but early in the third, Ryan Johansen fed Kevin Fiala on a delayed penalty call and the winger tallied his third of the preseason to bring Nashville within one.
Then, with less than six minutes to play in regulation, defenseman Matt Irwin floated a shot in from the point that found its way to the twine to tie things up 3-3.
Nashville failed to convert on a power-play chance in overtime and Columbus scored twice in the shootout to take the game.
Video: Coach Laviolette is frustrated with his team's effort
A pair of bright spots for the Preds came in the form of Vladislav Kamenev and Samuel Girard, two young players trying to make the opening night roster.
"We didn't have a lot of guys playing very well tonight, but those two guys I thought showed up and played really well," Laviolette said of the pair. "They were fast, they were competitive and it showed."
While the play of Girard and Kamenev was impressive, Laviolette saw plenty of the opposite from the rest of his team, something the Preds will work to improve before their final dress rehearsal on Saturday night.
"We just didn't play hard enough," Preds Captain Roman Josi said. "We weren't happy with our game and we've got to make sure we get our game in order for the regular season."
Video: Preds tie the game in the third, but fall in shootout
Of the three assistant captain options for the Preds on Thursday, Ryan Johansen and Mattias Ekholm sported the 'A' on their jersey.
Pekka Rinne played the full 65 minutes for Nashville on Thursday, stopping 27 of 30 shots faced prior to the shootout.
The Predators conclude their preseason schedule on Saturday night when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning at Bridgestone Arena. Then, the 2017-18 regular season officially opens next week with Nashville set to face the Bruins in Boston on Oct. 5.