Game 37 Recap: New Look Jackets Defeat the Preds 3-1

Thanks to a new face, more great goaltending and a strong penalty kill, the Jackets turned the tables on the team that used to give them nightmares.

With new addition Marian Gaborik in the lineup, the Jackets took it to their former nemesis in their barn. Gaborik made an instant impact, and James Wisniewski converted on the powerplay.

First Period Notes:

  • Sergei Bobrovsky got the call for the Jackets, while the Preds countered with Pekka Rinne.
  • For the better part of the opening period, the Predators dictated play, keeping the Jackets hemmed in their zone. This was due to a combination of Columbus defenders failing to clear the zone, and a tenacious forecheck by the Preds. The Preds were out to prove something after appearing like sellers on trade deadline day yesterday.
  • You may have heard about the new guy- Gaby, they call him. He was dangerous on every shift, and man, what a treat to have such a potent offensive player on the ice again. As I expected, the coaching staff started Gaborik on a line with Vinny Prospal and Artem Anisimov. This is ready-made chemistry, as the trio played together with the Rangers.
  • The Jackets owned the last five minutes, largely due to a strong shift by Nick Foligno that culminated in a powerplay for the Jackets after Rinne was called for a trip. The powerplay saw good movement, and though the Jackets were in the Nashville zone for a bulk of the two minutes, they were unable to put one past Rinne.
  • Score after the first: 0-0.

Second Period Notes:

  • The middle period was highlighted by plenty of end-to-end action, and was easily one of the more exciting periods of hockey for Columbus this year.
  • After some rough stuff in front of the Nashville net, Mark Letestu and Chris Mueller were handed matching minors. While four-on-four, Sergei Kostitsyn had an excellent chance for Nashville with a semi-break. Jack Johnson was able to get back to cover Kostitsyn, without committing a penalty.
  • Moments later, R.J. Umberger undressed Shea Weber en route to the Nashville net. Weber, as is often the case when a defenseman gets undressed, turned around and hooked Umby, giving the Jackets a powerplay.
  • While up a man, noted Preds killer James Wisniewski blasted one past Rinne, assisted by Brandon Dubinsky and Marian Gaborik. It was Gaby's first point as a Jacket.
  • Minutes later, after a mad scramble in front of Bob, Kevin Klein tied the score.
  • The end-to-end play continued for the rest of the game, except for a two-minute stretch when Colton Gillies was in the box for interfering Nick Spaling. You'd think that poor Spaling was shot with the way he flew up in the air after the slightest contact with Gillies. The Jackets made up for it though, by having a dominant kill. They outshot the Preds 2-0 on their powerplay, including a beautiful chance by Dubinsky.
  • Ryan Johansen almost gave the Jackets the lead with a late wraparound chance. This kid is really close to breaking out, I can feel it in my bones.
  • Score after the second: 1-1.

Third Period Notes:

  • It took a few minutes, but the Jackets were able to grab the lead. After some great work by Dubi in the corner, he carried the puck to the side of the Nashville net, feeding a pass cross-crease. Gaborik was able to get his stick on the puck, tipping it behind Rinne. Gaborik's first goal as a Jacket.
  • Shortly thereafter, Cam Atkinson carried the puck up-ice, and after holding...holding...holding, he wired it on Rinne, with the rebound going off the skate of Matt Calvert and into the net. The play was reviewed, and it was determined that it was kicked in. Goal overturned.
  • At the 11:50 mark, Calvert got his revenge. After skating through center, he crossed the Nashville blueline and wired a wrister on-net. It fooled Rinne, giving the Jackets a two goal lead.
  • The Preds made a late push with the goaltender pulled, but the Jackets held on for the victory.

Final Score: 3-1 Jackets

Standard Bearers:

1) Marian Gaborik was dangerous, and finished his first game as a Jacket with a goal and an assist.

2) Shocker! Bob was great tonight.

3) The PK, like Bob, was its usual stellar self.

4) I had to watch the Nashville feed on Centre Ice tonight, but this is no problem whatsoever. I love the duo of Pete Weber and Terry Crisp. They call an old-school sounding game.

Bottom of the Barrel:

1) What does Toronto have against Matt Calvert?

2) The defense as a whole had a tough night in the defensive zone. Luckily, Bob was there to bail them out.

3) The Clap.

The Jackets are back at it tomorrow night against the Blues in St.Louis.

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