The Columbus Blue Jackets, fresh off of their latest loss, this time to the New York Rangers, hit the ice on the second night of a back to back as they faced off with the Nashville Predators on Tuesday night.
The team made one significant lineup change.
Great that Cole Sillinger is back in the lineup, awful that Kent Johnson was taken away from the center position where he has been playing well. One step forward, one step back. One could only hope that Johnson would get significant minutes because Jenner and Nyquist play huge minutes, but no one should assume that will happen.
Liam Foudy was the odd man out as Sillinger made his return, centering Kirill Marchenko and Emil Bemstrom.
Daniil Tarasov got the start in net opposite Kevin Lankinen. Here’s what happened.
Daniil Tarasov made the first two saves of the game, getting to feel the puck early, as the netminder settled in. Patrik Laine got the Blue Jackets’ first shot early as he was left alone in the high slot, but Lankinen was equal to it. Nashville had the better chances through the first six minutes or so, including a split-the-defense moment by Juuso Parsinnen, but all were kept out of the net.
With 12:41 remaining, the Jackets went to the power play for the first time tonight as Thomas Novak was boxed for tripping. The power play effort from the Jackets was absolutely god awful, failing to establish any consistent zone time, generating no shots, and surrendering a glorious chance to Matt Duchene in the seconds after the kill that Tarasov was fortunate to keep out.
Nashville earned their first power play of the night as Andrew Peeke was penalized for tripping Mikael Granlund with 7:58 to go in the first. The Predators had a couple chances, including a flurry at the end of the power play, but Tarasov kept the puck out of the net. The Predators dominated zone possession but only led in shots after the first 20 13-8 as the game remained scoreless.
Nashville opened the second period on the front foot, pushing for the opening goal, but were not able to find a high danger chance. Columbus responded with several shots of their own, but none truly threatened Lankinen. Nashville finally opened the scoring with 14:18 remaining - Cody Glass received a pass in the slot, turned, and fired it past Tarasov to make it 1-0 Predators with his fifth of the season.
Predators goal (0-1): Glass from Forsberg and Duchene, 5:42
Just over a minute later, the Predators went back to the power play as Kirill Marchenko took a high stick at 6:19 of the second. Nyquist was denied early shorthanded on a setup for Roslovic. The Predators didn’t do much on their power play, generating no shots on goal with a man advantage. With 9:01 remaining, Matt Duchene was penalized for hooking, giving Columbus their second power play. The Jackets failed to score (despite seven shots on goal) and allowed a 2 on 1 as it ended - Tarasov made the resulting save with his mask, snapping the straps and earning a stoppage as his mask fell off.
With 3:05 remaining, Nashville stretched their lead to 2-0. Despite being outshot in the period, Nashville found ways to capitalize. This time, Yakov Trenin buried a one timer from the right slot after Nashville’s fourth line spent an absolute eternity in the Columbus zone.
Predators goal (0-2): Trenin from Josi and Jeannot, 16:55
After 40 minutes, the Predators led 2-0. Shots favored the Blue Jackets 25-23.
The Jackets opened the third period on the front foot, but Kevin Lankinen and the Nashville defense weathered the early storm to keep the lead at 2-0. Columbus earned a power play at the 7:00 mark as Forsberg was sent off for hooking, a golden chance to halve the lead with just over half the period remaining. With 10:59 remaining, Columbus finally got on the board - Kent Johnson’s shot was saved, Jack Roslovic sent the rebound to Gustav Nyquist, who finished with ease for his ninth of the season.
Columbus goal (1-2): Nyquist from Roslovic and Johnson, 9:01
With 8:45 to go, Tim Berni took a penalty, giving Nashville a chance to regain their two goal advantage. The Jackets killed the penalty and stepped on the gas. With 3:24 remaining, Cole Sillinger had a shot that forced Lankinen to scramble and cover as Sillinger nearly tied the game. The Jackets managed 40 shots on goal, but failed to find the equalizer.
Columbus Blue Jackets 1 Nashville Predators 2
If fans want a positive highlight - on this date in CBJ history:
Bridgestone Arena remains a house of horrors as Columbus drops to 9-35-6-1 all time in Nashville.
Insert a rant about ice time here. I’m tired of typing it.
The Columbus Blue Jackets return home to take on the also-tanking Anaheim Ducks on Thursday night. Faceoff is set for 7:00 PM ET.