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Blue Jackets 3, Predators 1

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Marian Gaborik knows how to make a first impression.

In his first game with Columbus after a big deadline trade Wednesday, Gaborik assisted on his new team's first goal and then snapped a 1-1 tie in the third period with his 10th goal of the season as the Blue Jackets dumped Nashville 3-1 in a matchup of Western Conference playoff hopefuls.

A three-time All-Star who scored just nine goals in 35 games this year with the New York Rangers, Gaborik was dealt for Derick Brassard, Derek Dorsett and John Moore. He was third in the NHL in goals last season with 41.

A right winger, Gaborik was paired with left winger Vinny Prospal and center Artem Anisimov initially. He also was paired with center Brandon Dubinsky and left winger Matt Calvert, the duo that set him up on the tiebreaking goal.

Goalkeeper Sergei Bobrovsky notched 38 saves for Columbus (16-14-7), which moved into a tie for the eighhth and final playoff spot in the West with Edmonton. The Predators (15-15-8) remained a point back of those two teams with 10 games left -- the fewest among the Western contenders.

James Wisniewski gave the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead at 8:36 of the second period with a 40-foot power play slapper, coming 15 seconds after Shea Weber was sent off for hooking. Dubinsky and Gaborik had assists.

Nashville's Kevin Klein evened the score at 1 as he jammed a rebound off the crossbar and Bobrovsky's back at 12:14.

After Gaborik's tiebreaking goal, Calvert appeared to make it 3-1 at 6:42, but his goal was waved off after a replay review detected him kicking the puck home. Calvert got one that counted at 10:50, wristing a 44-footer off the stick handle of Pekka Rinne.

NOTES: Rinne leads the league in ice time, logging a whopping 1,968 minutes and 27 seconds entering Thursday night's game. ... Columbus defenseman Adrian Aucoin could play the 1,100th game of his NHL career on Friday night in St. Louis ... Predators center Mike Fisher (hand) returned after missing the last three games, but left winger Gabriel Bourque (upper-body injury) missed his second straight gamet ... Among the Blue Jackets' scratches were right winger Blake Comeau, who was acquired in a trade Wednesday from Calgary, and Jared Boll (lower-body injury).
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