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Jackets come from behind to beat the Preds 5-3

Nick Blankenburg leads the way

Nashville Predators v Columbus Blue Jackets Photo by Ben Jackson/NHLI via Getty Images

Coming off the first win of the season against the Canucks, the Columbus Blue Jackets took on the Nashville Predators in Nationwide Arena. It ended up being a rollercoaster of a game that saw lots of defensive miscues and frustration early on. Ultimately, the Jackets were able to get it done in come from behind fashion. Here’s how it went down.

1st Period

The Predators struck first in a scramble around the net. Gudbranson let Jeannot skate to crease and force a loose puck past Elvis.

NSH Goal 1-0: Jeannot (Sissons, Trenin) 3:16

A few shifts later, Gudbranson and Bean collided and fell to the ice in the defensive zone giving local product Sherwood a clean look on Elvis. Luckily for the good guys, it stayed a one goal game.

The Blue Jackets headed to the penalty kill for the first time only six minutes into the game. Peeke got a questionable interference call in front of the net while clearing the crease. The Preds had a few good looks, but nothing overly dangerous.

Former Jacket Ryan Johansen found the back of the net to make it 2-0. The found a rebound and made a nice play to backhand it past Elvis. It was another front of the net goal that was a result of leaving the area undefended.

NSH Goal 2-0: Johansen (Ekholm, Niederreiter) 10:45

Robinson headed to the box shortly after for a hook. Another good effort by the penalty kill held the Preds to zero shots with the extra man.

The best first period chance for Columbus came when Chinakhov recovered a puck on the forecheck and a quick Sillinger shot trickled past Lankinen. Unforunately, McDonagh was there to sweep the puck away.

With nine seconds left in the period, Gudbranson went to the box for tripping.

There were several questionable calls in the first period, but the Blue Jackets are going to have a long season if they continue to struggle with possessing the puck. The more you chase the puck, the more penalties you are going to commit. The less time you spend with the puck, the less power plays you’ll get.

The Blue Jackets actually ended up with more shot attempts in the first period, but didn’t have anything to show for it. The blue sweaters had more low quality shots and then missing out on any rebounds. Most shots resulted in a whistle or the puck going back the other way. The Preds won the even strength expected goals battle 1.11-0.39.

2nd Period

The Preds’ power play was killed off to start the period. The Blue Jackets’ penalty kill was the one bright spot early on in the game.

The Jackets were on their heels to start the period and caught a break after Josi got a puck past Elvis off the rush. An offsides challenge resulted in the goal being overturned.

A slashing call against the Preds resulted in the Jackets’ first man advantage of the night. The woes continued as Columbus struggled to get any high danger shots on net. That one made it nothing for eleven on the season so far.

The Jackets had several chances in the middle of the period, but the Nashville goalie and defense were able to stand strong.

Another power play chance after Danforth was interfered finally resulted in a goal. Jake Bean was able to bank one off the post from the point. A nice zone entry and good vision by Johnson led to the goal. Bean was having a very rough night defensively, so good for him. Unfortunately, upon review it was determined that the goal came just after the power play had expired. It’s ok though, we can count that one in our hearts.

CBJ Goal 2-1: Bean (Johnson, Chinakhov) 16:09

The momentum didn’t last long. The Preds won a puck battle along the wall and sniped a screened and helpless Elvis for their third goal of the night.

This goal was a great example bad play along the boards. Jeannot had the puck along the boards and Gudbranson went straight for the hit instead of trying to tie him up. Jeannot retained possession of the puck and managed to get the pass off.

NSH Goal 3-1: Trenin (unassisted) 17:38

Peeke went to the box for holding with 90 seconds left in the period. Roslovic barely missed a shorty and the Preds also came close to scoring, but the period ended before more damage was done.

A better period for the Jackets still left them down two goals. They were able to even up the 5v5 expected goals, but better defensive structure in front of Lankinen was the difference in the game through two periods.

3rd Period

The Blue Jackets quickly regained momentum only 30 seconds in. Blankenburg stole the puck and sent a beautiful 75 foot pass to a breaking Gaudreau. Johnny Hockey didn’t miss.

CBJ Goal 3-2: Gaudreau (Blankenburg) 0:38

Bean went to the box to give the Preds their fifth power play of the night — he unnecessarily tied up a Preds forward in a race for the puck. The power play was quickly negated, however, when Duchene slashed Roslovic on a shorted handed chance.

Gaudreau had a beautiful opportunity off a faceoff on the shortened power play, but missed his spot.

Danforth tied up the game with eight minutes left with a great individual effort. He deked around the Preds defender and got the puck past Lankinen while being hauled down from behind. A nice stretch pass and a beautiful touch pass by Chinakhov set up the goal.

CBJ Goal 3-3: Danforth (Chinakhov, Peeke) 12:07

Merzlikins made a game saving left pad save with less than three minutes left. Despite the save percentage on the scoresheet, he was solid all night.

Who else but Blankenburg? Voracek made a nice play and sent a cross ice pass to a wide open Blankenburg who put it far side on Lankinen.

CBJ Goal 4-3: Blankenburg (Voracek, Roslovic) 18:37

Gaudreau got the empty netter and the Jackets are officially on a win streak.

CBJ EN Goal 5-3: Gaudreau (Nyquist) 19:14

Final Thoughts

A slow start slowly built up to a dominating win for the Blue Jackets. Many fans, including myself, were rolling our eyes and throwing up our hands after the first 30 minutes of the game. Frankly, it wasn’t unwarranted. Luckily, the game made a complete turnaround. Ultimately, it was a master class in mental toughness and finding a way to slowly gain momentum.

Is Blankenburg the best defenseman on the team right now? He’s been in the lineup for two games and has two points and a game winning goal to show for it. Not only that, but his toughness and attitude are contagious.

The kids played well. Chinakhov now has four assists in the last two games and is starting come around after a great preseason. Sillinger led all forwards in xGF% and Johnson also had a good night. Play them more.

Roslovic had a great game. He was on the ice for two goals, was a monster on the PK, and had a CF% of 65.22. Hopefully he can take that momentum and provide more consistency.

The Bean and Gudbranson pair continues to be bad. Bean had a big goal, but he also had two minor penalties and a goal against. Gudbranson was on the ice for two goals against, was last in CF%, and had a xGF% of 9. The coaching staff likely won’t make any change, which is unfortunate because this pair continues to drag this team down.

Overall, a great win and another performance to build upon. The Jackets will need to put together a full 60 minutes and continue to show improvement with the Penguins and Rangers next on the schedule.

Up Next

The Blue Jackets will take on the Penguins at Nationwide Saturday at 7:00PM ET.