For Trotz, Columbus lead “came too easy”
The Columbus Blue Jackets still have never won back-to-back contests at Bridgestone Arena.
On Thursday night, in front of a sold out home crowd, the Nashville Predators erased two three-goal deficits to beat the Blue Jackets 6-5.
Mike Fisher opened scoring for Nashville at the 12:29 mark of the first period with a power play tally. It was Fisher’s 7th goal of the season. Jeff Carter answered on the next shift for the Blue Jackets to tie the game with his 8th of the season.Carter would score two more goals in the opening frame for the hat trick.
The game appeared out of hand for Nashville after Brian McGrattan received a five minute interference penalty when he pushed Jared Boll into the boards from behind. The Blue Jackets scored three times on the man advantage, twice from Carter, with Ryan Johansen adding the other Columbus power play marker, picking up his 6th goal of the season.
The four goals from Columbus came in a span of 3:18 and are now the four fastest goals in franchise history.
Head Coach Barry Trotz never doubted his team going into the second period down 4-1.
“I said after the first period it came too easy. I’ve seen this so many times in the past where something comes too easy for a team and you get a big lead and all you have to do is chip away because there’s a ton of time left and we did that. The first couple minutes of the second period were crucial. We didn’t play very well, we were still in shock after the first period, but we got through that. We got some big goals, we stayed with it right to the end and everybody played really well,” he said.
Columbus goaltender Curtis Sanford echoed Trotz’ sentiments.”We have to expect a team to scratch and claw to get back into it. That’s exactly what happened. They sent guys to the net and found empty sticks. They were able to get some hard fought goals. We get the fifth one and we still didn’t put them away. It is definitely disappointing and frustrating. We need to find a way to stop killing ourselves,” Sanford said.
Scratch and claw is exactly what the Predators did on Thursday night.
Nashville made it 4-2 when Patric Hornqvist scored on a delay penalty call, but Johansen gave the Blue Jackets back their three-goal lead when he scored his second power play goal of the night 7:52 into the middle frame.David Legwand was in the penalty box for tripping.
Just 59 seconds after the Johansen goal, Nick Spaling picked up his 5th goal of the campaign to again bring the Predators back within two goals.
Nashville would end the second period down by only one goal when Roman Josi picked up his second goal of the season before the period was over.
Still trailing by one goal late in the third period, David Legwand tied the game with a power play goal, his 9th goal of the season, with only 3:46 to play in regulation. It was the second power play marker for the Predators during the game.
It looked like the Predators and Blue Jackets would be heading to overtime for their third consecutive game against each other, but forward Martin Erat had other plans when he scored with only 8.4 seconds left in regulation.
Erat says that it was an up and down game for Nashville.
“I would say that we played great the first ten or twelve minutes and after that we took bad penalties. In the second period we started playing a sloppy game. After we got a little offensive pressure in their zone and that’s when they made the turnovers and we capitalized on them,” Erat said.
Despite the sloppy play on the part of Nashville, Erat maintains the Predators were the better of the two teams. “I think it was a few fluky goals. They always had good bounces from the net and kept it on their stick, but it felt like we had a better team. I think that’s why we had a great response from our team. We played great I think for sixty minutes.”
Nashville now travels to Dallas to play the Stars Friday night before the NHL Christmas break. There is only one point separating the two squads who sit in seventh and eighth place respectively in the Western Conference.
Photo Credit: AP
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