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Bobrovsky gets help from Blue Jackets offense in 4-3 win over Predators

The SportsXchange

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- The Blue Jackets finally gave goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky some room for error Tuesday against Nashville, and -- for the first time in a long time -- he needed it.

Bobrovsky allowed two goals in a 47-second span late in the third period, but the Blue Jackets held on for a 4-3 victory over Nashville before 13,364 at Nationwide Arena.

"We wanted this to be a 4-1 win," Blue Jackets winger Vinny Prospal said. "It's a lesson to learn. The win is great; we earned it. But we have to be able to manage the final part of the game better than that."

The win extended Columbus' franchise-record point streak to 11 games (7-0-4). But the real eye-popper was the four goals the Blue Jackets scored, their highest output since Feb. 26.

In the first 10 games of the point streak, the Jackets gave Bobrovsky only 21 goals to work with.

Mark Letestu, Nikita Nikitin, Derick Brassard and Fedor Tyutin scored for the Blue Jackets, while Prospal had three assists and Jack Johnson had two assists.

Bobrovsky, who has spear-headed the point streak, stopped 32 of 35 shots, but allowed goals on the final two shots he faced, as a 4-1 lead dwindled to 4-3 with 1:14 to play.

The Blue Jackets called timeout to gather themselves.

"The message was simple: we're still in control here," Letestu said. "I've seen games like that get away on teams -- we've been through it -- but that's why we scored four goals. We never felt like it was going to slip away on us."

Nashville, which has lost four straight and finished a five-game road trip with only one win, got goals from Mike Fisher, Gabriel Bourque and Chris Mueller. With the loss, they fell behind the Blue Jackets in the standings.

The Predators trailed 4-1 with 2:01 remaining, and the Blue Jackets appeared to be running out the clock.

But with 2:01 remaining, Mueller took a pass on the doorstep from Ryan Ellis and beat Bobrovsky to the near post to make it 4-2.

With 1:14 left to play, Fisher fired the puck behind him and through Bobrovsky's pads to make it 4-3.

But the Predators ran out of time.

"Some of the mistakes we've made, it sounds like a broken record," Predators coach Barry Trotz said. "The same guys are making the same blunders, and it's costing us.

"We didn't quit at the end, and that's a positive. But positives don't get you points."

Their slow start didn't help.

The Blue Jackets struck first, taking a 1-0 lead at 4:08 of the second period on Tyutin's second goal of the season and the 200th point of his NHL career.

Nobody was more surprised that Rinne. Tyutin gathered a puck that nearly left the Nashville zone, then turned and fired it through a crowd of bodies in front of Rinne, who never saw it.

The Jackets pushed the lead to 2-0 midway through the period after a long shift in the Nashville zone.

Letestu did the honors at 9:39, taking a feed across the zone from Prospal and firing a wrister shot under the right arm of Rinne.

Nashville pulled to 2-1 with 5:15 left in the second period when Yip redirected a Roman Josi slap shot.

But the Jackets scored twice in the span of 2:41 midway through the third to pull away.

The lead grew to 3-1 on a power play goal at 10:00. Nikitin floated a slap shot through the slot that Rinne never saw. It grew to 4-1 when Brassard finished off a 3-on-1 rush after an assist from Letestu.

"It was good to get (Bobrovsky) some run support," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said, borrowing a baseball phrase. "But I didn't like the end of the game. I didn't like how we managed it. Hopefully it bothered everybody in the room."

NOTES: After making an ill-advised line change on a power play two nights earlier in Edmonton, Predators winger Sergei Kostitsyn was a healthy scratch Tuesday. "You have to be accountable," Trotz said. "And he wasn't accountable there. So he's not playing." ... Columbus winger Nick Foligno left the game in the second period after colliding with Nashville's Taylor Beck, but returned in the third.
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