Blue Jackets pick up first win at Bridgestone Arena since 2006, Predators fall 4-3 in OT
It took overtime to do it, but for the first time since April 3rd, 2006, the Columbus Blue Jackets defeated the Nashville Predators 4-3 at Bridgestone Arena.
“You never want it to happen,” Predators alternate captain Ryan Suter said about the 17-game home winning streak coming to an end, adding “but they played well. They have a good team. They haven’t been getting many bounces this year. Tonight, they started to get some bounces.”
Suter took back-to-back penalties early in the third period. With the game tied 2-2, Suter was called for roughing against Rick Nash at 1:34 into the final frame. It took Columbus just 11 seconds to capitalize and take the lead when RJ Umberger beat Predators goaltender Pekka Rinne.
The Predators defenseman was again sent to the penalty box, this time only 1:02 after the goal was scored.
Suter says emotions are a factor when playing a divisional rival. “We are out there to win and to do the right things. I don’t know if it has anything about keeping our cool but emotions definitely get up. It was a big night, Saturday night and the crowd was into it. It was fun for us.”
The game started with two fights, including one off the opening draw. Jordin Tootoo and Derek Dorsett dropped the gloves to start the game. Brian McGrattan and Jared Boll followed suit 1:01 later.
“I think it sets a tone — I think it sets a tone when you have two guys that go out there that can fight and do a good job. It lifts everybody on the bench and gets everyone in a good mood,” Predators Captain Shea Weber said.
Nashville forward Mike Fisher agrees. “It gets us excited. It gets the bench going.”
The Predators opened scoring late in the first period when Marc Methot was sent to the box for hooking. Colin Wilson picked up his 5th goal of the season. Wilson picked up a Legwand rebound and beat Curtis Sanford with a wrist shot. Legwand was playing the point on the power play in his first game back from an upper body injury.
Columbus scored twice in the second period on goals by Jeff Carter and Vinny Prospal. It was Carter’s first goal of the season for the Blue Jackets. Mike Fisher also notched a second period goal on the power play for Nashville, his third of the season.
Suter picked up two assists on the night, including one on Nick Spaling’s game tying goal late in the third period. “Legwand made a great play bouncing the puck up the wall. He just put it on the net. I don’t know how it went in but it went in,” Suter said.
The Blue Jackets needed 2:43 into the 5 minute overtime period, but would pick up their fourth win of the season with a goal by James Wisniewski, his first of the season.
“I wasn’t happy with our draws. We win that draw, the last draw, and it gets caught up in the linesman’s feet and they pop it back to Wisniewski and I think our defenseman sort of screened Peks there — he’ll save that all day if he can see it,” Head Coach Barry Trotz said about the game-winning goal.
I shot it right past his shin pads and it went straight and didn’t move that much, so I’m guessing he probably got screened,” Wisniewski confirmed, adding, “and lucky for me.”
The Predators play their last game of a five-game homestand on Tuesday night when the Edmonton Oilers come to town. On Saturday night, Edmonton crushed the Blackhawks 9-2. The Predators have points in their first four games of the homestand with a 2-0-2 record.
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