Just 24 hours after the Columbus Blue Jackets fell 2-1 to the Nashville Predators on Saturday afternoon, both teams skated at Bridgestone Arena for the conclusion of the two-game set. And mercifully, the last game in Nashville this season.
Both goaltenders, Joonas Korpisalo and Juuse Saros, were back in their respective creases after playing yesterday, and it was the first time Saros has played on consecutive days in his career per the Predators telecast. Yea I like to mix it up.
As many flaws as this Blue Jackets team has, starting fast has not been one of them. Kevin Stenlund got the Jackets on the board early with a goal thanks to a nice dish from the slot by Riley Nash. Seth Jones also earned the secondary assist.
But the lead was short-lived as Nick Cousins scored his second goal of the season on Korpisalo’s doorstep. Assists were made by Ryan Johansen and Viktor Arvidsson.
new game. Time for the next one. pic.twitter.com/gtgPwVk8K4— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) February 28, 2021
Throughout the bulk of the period, Columbus wasn’t able to generate many shots at all but Vladislav Gavrikov laid it all out to prevent the 2-on-1 break. And as the close-up replay showed, it was actually just great stick placement by Gavrikov to thwart the chance.
nice use of the stick by Gavrikov pic.twitter.com/jtQ49IXFhR— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) February 28, 2021
There was only one power play chance in the period and there was nothing to speak of about it. As you might have guessed, that chance belonged to Columbus.
that was supposed to be a power play right— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) February 28, 2021
Through one period, the Predators’ shots advantage narrowed to 11-7 after the Blue Jackets only had four through most of the frame.
Korpisalo came to play today with saves like this one:
One thing that’s really annoying with watching this team is how discombobulated they always look. Can’t even chalk it up to an early start time since they did this yesterday, and I get maybe guys are tired, but aren’t we all after watching this over and over.
Missed passes and turnovers and you know the story. Disinterested hockey on the ice makes for disinteresting hockey viewing.
Like I said at the top, fast starts are as common as the blown leads and sure enough, the Preds capitalized on their only power play of the afternoon. Eeli Tolvanen’s shot, and third of the year, beat Korpisalo right side as assists went to Filip Forsberg and Roman Josi.
Is this what snake bit looks like?
Patrik Laine was bringing the fire, specifically against Nick Cousins who has previously been voted the dirtiest trash talker in the league by the players, per Jody Shelley.
Columbus gave it another go on the power play but nothing doing. It’s been five years so why now. Their third-period opportunity didn’t provide any spark either. In fact, Nashville scored short-handed (Erik Haula scored, Roman Josi and Matt Benning assisted).
A look at the Jackets on the power play pic.twitter.com/hT0W7vkvah— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) February 28, 2021
Through two periods, Nashville had the edge in shots 23-18 and Laine led the team with three shots.
2-1 after two. #Preds lead #CBJ— Alison (@AlisonL) February 28, 2021
Jackets at 5v5 in the second with:
45.16% of unblocked shot attempts
38.47% of all shot quality
Marginally better volume…but still need more legit scoring chances.
Shot map: pic.twitter.com/EUHqaXXf1O
So anyway down a goal in the third period, there’s more of whatever this was.
Love bringing the puck into the zone just to throw it back out! pic.twitter.com/eOR8dWVH8e— The Cannon (@cbjcannon) February 28, 2021
After the 3-1 loss, the Blue Jackets will play the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday at Nationwide Arena in front of some fans. Poor fans. The Red Wings beat the Chicago Blackhawks last night 5-3 in Chicago, and go for their third-straight win overall as they finish up against the Blackhawks tonight. Detroit is just four points behind the Blue Jackets in the standings.
Korpisalo made 26 saves on 29 shots while Saros was 28 of 29. The stats from Natural Stat Trick.
Nashville’s win today is their first series sweep since January against the Chicago Blackhawks. The Blue Jackets haven’t won in Nashville since a 5-2 win on March 30, 2019 and are just 1-8-1 in their last 10 at Nashville. Zach Werenski led the team on the ice (27:03). Cam Atkinson led the forwards (22:26) and Laine was 22:25. Laine and Del Zotto co-led the team with four shots. Roman Josi led the Predators (26:09) and Viktor Arvidsson led the team with five shots.