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Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Nashville Predators Pick & Prediction JAN 16TH 2021

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Columbus Blue Jackets vs. Nashville Predators Recap JAN 16TH 2021

Rocco Grimaldi scored in the eighth round of a shootout to give the Nashville Predators a 4-3 win over the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.

Nashville goalie Juuse Saros saved 40 of 43 shots during regulation and overtime, then stopped six of eight shots during the extended shootout to earn his 27th victory of the season.

The victory snapped a two-game losing streak for the Predators, who moved within a point of the final Western Conference wild-card slot.

Columbus is 0-3-5 over its last eight games, marking the team's longest winless streak since the 2015-16 season. The ill-timed slump has dropped the Blue Jackets under the playoff line, as the Carolina Hurricanes pulled ahead of Columbus on a tiebreaker for the final Eastern Conference wild-card position.

The Blue Jackets lead the NHL with 14 non-regulation losses this season, with five of those results coming during their current eight-game winless drought.

It took Ryan Johansen just 33 seconds to convert a rebound for the opening goal, kicking off a dominant first period for Nashville.

The Predators outshot Columbus 17-9 in the first period, and added another goal at the 10:31 mark. Mikael Granlund and Filip Forsberg combined on an impressive passing play that led to Granlund's 15th goal of the season.

In the second period, the Blue Jackets got an early goal from Boone Jenner at the 1:00 mark, then enjoyed their own one-sided period. Columbus had a 20-11 shots advantage and scored three goals in the frame, with Eric Robinson and Emil Bemstrom following up on Jenner's quick strike.

Bemstrom's power-play goal snapped a 15-game scoring drought for the forward, and also breathed life into the Columbus special-teams unit. It was only the third goal for the Jackets in 28 power-play chances, stretching over the last 12 games.

Nashville's tough period was salvaged by Colton Sissons' equalizing goal at the 18:57 mark.

Forsberg recorded two assists for his 10th multi-point game of the season.

The Blue Jackets' Elvis Merzlikins saved 33 of 36 shots, plus five more during the shootout. Despite the strong performance, the rookie goalie dropped to 0-3-4 over his last seven starts.

--Field Level Media

Brad Richardson scored the go-ahead goal with nine minutes remaining in the third period and Juuse Saros made 42 saves to lift the host Nashville Predators to a 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.

Filip Forsberg and Luke Kunin each scored for the second straight game, and Colton Sissons and Rocco Grimaldi also tallied for the Predators, who improved to 8-1-1 in their last 10 meetings with Columbus.

Alexandre Texier collected a goal and an assist and captain Nick Foligno also tallied for the Blue Jackets, who are off to their fourth 0-2-0 start in the past six seasons.

Richardson settled a loose puck on the left doorstep and lifted it past a sprawling Elvis Merzlikins (28 saves) to give the Predators a 3-2 lead.

Kunin and Sissons provided insurance by scoring 54 seconds apart to give Nashville a three-goal bulge. Kunin converted a feed from Nick Cousins and chipped the puck past Merzlikins at 14:28 before Sissons capped the scoring.

In a repeat of Thursday's 3-1 win in the season opener, Forsberg scored early in the third period to snap a 1-1 tie. The Swede stripped Columbus defenseman Zach Werenski of the puck before skating in on a rush and wristing a shot over the glove of Merzlikins.

Nashville's lead was short-lived, however, as Liam Foudy's sharp-angle shot from the far hash marks of the left circle was deflected home by Texier.

Columbus opened the scoring for the second straight game. Foligno alertly tucked home a loose puck as it rested in the crease following a backhanded shot from defenseman Michael Del Zotto at 7:58 of the first period.

Nashville answered under two minutes later, as Grimaldi raced up right wing and blasted a shot from the circle that slipped past Merzlikins.

Defenseman Ryan Ellis, who was credited with an assist on Grimaldi's goal, made a stellar play at the other end of the ice to prevent the Blue Jackets from reclaiming the lead. Ellis slid to the ice to prevent Pierre-Luc Dubois from scoring into an open goal after Saros collided with a teammate behind the net.

--Field Level Media

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GAMES

Last 10

W 30% L 70%
3 7
  • @Nashville L 2 - 5
  • @Nashville L 1 - 3
  • @Tampa Bay L 4 - 5
  • Tampa Bay L 2 - 1
  • Tampa Bay L 3 - 2
  • @Tampa Bay W 3 - 1
  • @Tampa Bay L 2 - 3
  • @Toronto W 3 - 0
  • Toronto L 4 - 3
  • Toronto W 3 - 4
W 70% L 30%
7 3
  • Columbus W 2 - 5
  • Columbus W 1 - 3
  • @Arizona L 3 - 4
  • @Arizona L 1 - 4
  • Arizona W 2 - 4
  • Arizona L 4 - 3
  • @Dallas W 2 - 0
  • @Montreal W 4 - 2
  • @Dallas W 1 - 0
  • Dallas W 0 - 2

Next Games

  • @Detroit(12-17-19) W 5 - 3
  • @Detroit(12-17-19) W 5 - 3
  • Tampa Bay(08-17-20) L 2 - 1
  • Tampa Bay(08-17-20) L 2 - 1
  • Carolina(02-18-20) L 4 - 1
  • Carolina(02-18-20) L 4 - 1
  • @Dallas(07-30-20) W 2 - 0
  • @Dallas(07-30-20) W 2 - 0

Last Meetings

  • Blue Jackets @ Predators 2-5
  • Blue Jackets @ Predators 1-3
  • Blue Jackets @ Predators 3-4
  • Blue Jackets @ Predators 5-2
  • Predators @ Blue Jackets 3-4
  • Blue Jackets @ Predators 2-4
  • Predators @ Blue Jackets 3-1
  • Blue Jackets @ Predators 4-3
  • Predators @ Blue Jackets 5-3
  • Predators @ Blue Jackets 4-3

Last Injuries

Nashville Predators

  • Luca Sbisa

    Illness
    Out indefinitely | out

    Sbisa is going through the COVID-19 protocol, and he will miss an undetermined length of time.

  • Mikael Granlund

    Personal
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Granlund has been assigned to the injured reserve list while tending to a visa issue. He is also going through the league's mandated protocol, and he will miss an extended period.

  • Viktor Arvidsson

    Undisclosed
    Ques Sat | questionable

    Arvidsson sat out the last contest with an unspecified injury, and it is unknown if he will be available Saturday versus the Blue Jackets.

Columbus Blue Jackets

  • Mikko Koivu

    Illness
    Ques Mon | questionable

    Koivu has missed the previous two games while going through the league mandated protocol, and it is unknown if he will be available Monday versus the Red Wings.

  • Marko Dano

    Undisclosed
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Dano has been designated for the injured reserve list with an unspecified ailment, and team officials have yet to provide an exact return date.

  • Brandon Dubinsky

    Wrist
    Out indefinitely | I-R

    Dubinsky has wound up on the injured reserve list due to a wrist injury and he will miss an extended period.

  • Gustav Nyquist

    Shoulder
    Early May | I-R

    Nyquist has been assigned to the injured reserve list after undergoing surgery to repair a torn labrum in his left shoulder. He is expected to be sidelined five to six months.