Columbus Blue Jackets' Nick Foligno (71) reacts after scoring past Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne (35), of Finland, as Predators defenseman Roman Josi (59), of Switzerland, watches in the first period of an NHL hockey game on Saturday, Jan. 19, 2013, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mike Strasinger)
Saturday, January 19, 2013 11:27 pm
Blue Jackets beat Predators 3-2 in shootout
By TERESA M. WALKERAP Sports Writer
Columbus had not won an opener since Oct. 3, 2009, against Minnesota, and the Blue Jackets had won only once in Nashville in the previous 20 games.
They needed overtime to do that 4-3 on Nov. 19, 2011.
Artem Anisimov, acquired in the trade that sent Rick Nash to the Rangers, scored on a backhand over Nashville goaltender Pekka Rinne in the second round of the shootout.
David Legwand scored on a backhand in the third round to tie it up and extend the shootout. That was it before Brassard scored under Rinne's glove hand.
Colin Wilson had a chance to tie it up, but Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky got his right foot out for the save and the win.
Anisimov also had a goal in regulation, and Nick Foligno scored a goal for Columbus.
Martin Erat and Ryan Ellis each scored goals for the Predators, and Sergei Kostitsyn had two assists. Nashville snapped a streak of three straight season-opening wins despite outshooting the Blue Jackets 34-28.
Nashville sold this opener out in just three days, and team officials threw a party outside before shifting inside where singer Michael W. Smith handled the national anthem.
They even had actor Charles Esten, who plays Deacon on the TV show "Nashville," sing "The Boys Are Back" with the house band at the first intermission.
The Predators took care of providing excitement on the ice as Erat, a new assistant captain with Ryan Suter now in Minnesota, scoring 39 seconds into the game.
Rinne, who played some in the Kontinental Hockey League, only allowed a power-play goal by Foligno, who tipped in a slap shot by Fedor Tyutin right in front of the goalie at 16:08.
But Ellis put Nashville back up 2-1 with a power-play goal at 17:55.
In the second period, Nashville captain Shea Weber fought Columbus forward Derek Dorsett after Dorsett checked Predators center Craig Smith too hard.
Weber, who had a 14-year, $110 million offer sheet from Philadelphia matched by Nashville before the lockout, wound up with his first fighting major since the 2009-10 season and a big cheer from the home fans.
Columbus tied it up when Anisimov got a pass from Tyutin at the blue line and held off Nashville center Paul Gaustad before he beat Rinne with a backhand at 12:05 of the second. That was all the scoring until the shootout.
Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards started Bobrovsky at goalie because the Russian also played in the KHL during the lockout and had four shutouts.
Bobrovsky had 32 saves through overtime in giving Columbus a chance a rare season-opening win. He stopped Nick Spaling with a pad save 4:08 into overtime off a slap shot from Nashville defenseman Roman Josi.
In the shootout, Bobrovsky stopped Erat with a pad save. Mike Fisher was wide, and Bobrovsky made saves on Ellis and Colin Wilson and finally Smith for the win.
Notes: Legwand scored the fastest goal in Predators' history, just 11 seconds into the game April 5, 2007, against St. Louis. ... Ellis scored two of his three goals last season with the man advantage. ... Nashville had the NHL's best percentage on the power play last season. ... Kostitsyn had nine multi-point games last season. Weber also had a fighting major in Game 2 of the opening round of the playoffs against Detroit.