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Blue Jackets win finale, but miss playoffs

AP - Sports
Blue Jackets win finale, but miss playoffs
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Nashville Predators' Craig Smith, right, carries the puck upice as Columbus Blue Jackets' Derek MacKenzie …

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Jack Johnson scored the go-ahead goal with 4:48 left and the Columbus Blue Jackets capped a remarkable turnaround with a 3-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday.

But despite that win, Columbus was eliminated from the playoff race when the Minnesota Wild beat the Colorado Avalanche later on Saturday to earn the final postseason spot in the Western Conference.

Coming into the night, the Blue Jackets were tied for eighth in the West with Minnesota, each with 53 points.

Detroit beat Dallas on Saturday and clinched the No. 7 seed.

The Blue Jackets were on the short end of tiebreakers against both the Wild and Red Wings.

Billed as the biggest regular-season game in franchise history, the Blue Jackets were shut out by Chris Mason before scoring three times in the third period to go 8-1-0 in their final nine - all with the specter of a playoff spot hanging over them.

Brandon Dubinsky tied it early in the period and Cam Atkinson added an empty-netter.

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