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Opening Night Recap: Blue Jackets tripped up at Predators

The 2021 is underway as Jackets come up short.

NHL: Columbus Blue Jackets at Nashville Predators Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports

Boy is it good to have hockey back!

With Blue Jackets at Predators on a Thursday night from Bridgestone Arena and few fans in the stands, it was going to be interesting to see how Columbus would look with no preseason games and a short training camp.

Off the opening face-off, Columbus had a few early chances but I was interested to see if they could sustain that pressure. Weren’t we all.

The Jackets earned their first power play of the game when Filip Forsberg was off to the box for tripping. It was as effective as the last couple years.

Boone Jenner is back on the wing and he was your first Blue Jackets goal-scorer of the 2021 season. It was an unassisted play that culminated on a breakaway. Here’s how it all came together:

While Nashville took a while to get their shot on net, they held the 13-12 advantage after one.

Columbus started the second period with their second power play as Nick Cousins went off in the waning seconds of the first. The man-advantage was better on the second go-around although they didn’t score. But they were in the zone and not chasing so yay?

Nashville found the equalizer when Luke Kunin scored his unassisted breakaway goal.

Columbus had the 27-22 shots edge through 40.

Tied at one to begin the final period, the John Tortorella line blender was on.

Nashville found their first lead of the game and season just under six minutes to start the third on a 2-on-1 break by Forsberg with Brad Richardson getting his first assist.

The Preds iced this game with the empty-net goal late by Calle Jarnkrok as Roman Josi and Rocco Grimaldi assisted.

Both teams will try it again Saturday night right back at Bridgestone Arena and Columbus will try to leave with a split of the series. Joonas Korpisalo made 34 saves while Juuse Saros had 30. Each team was scoreless on the power play (Columbus 0-for-2, Nashville 0-for-3). Columbus was out-shot 13-3 in the third period. Michael Del Zotto and Zach Werenski led the Jackets with four shots. Josh led the game with six shots. Zach Werenski led game with 25:50 ice-time. New Jacket Max Domi did registered one sog in 12:57.

In case you forgot Gustav Nyquist is out 5-6 months as he recovers from shoulder surgery and Miko Koivu is day-to-day due to Covid protocol. With Jenner’s first-period goal, he now trails Brandon Dubinsky by one on the franchise all-time scoring list 225-224.