Blue Jackets 3, Predators 2, OT

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)—Adam Foote ruined Nashville’s perfect season with a flick of his wrist.

Foote scored on a short-handed rush 35 seconds into overtime to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 3-2 victory over Nashville on Wednesday night that snapped the Predators’ season-opening, eight-game winning streak.

“I just said to the guys, ‘When certain things end you’ve got to get back on the horse and start all over again,”’ Predators coach Barry Trotz said. “That’s over with, that’s a nice chapter. Let’s do something now through the next 73 games. The next 73 games are as important as the first nine.”

The quickest overtime goal in the NHL this season left Nashville two wins short of tying Toronto’s league-best start of 10-0 in 1993.

Foote, the biggest free-agent signing in franchise history, helped Columbus end a slide in which the Blue Jackets lost their previous two games (both against Detroit on home ice) by a combined score of 12-2. The Blue Jackets came in with the NHL’s fewest points (4) and fewest goals (17).

“We should play desperate all the time—why not?” Foote said. “This team is so hard on itself that sometimes we put extra pressure on ourselves. Maybe we shouldn’t because it costs us sometimes.”

Trevor Letowski and Mark Hartigan also scored for Columbus. Martin Prusek, making his first start of the year in relief of Marc Denis, stopped 22 shots.

Paul Kariya and Adam Hall had goals for the Predators, and Tomas Vokoun made 31 saves.

Just 13 seconds into overtime, Columbus’ David Vyborny was whistled for hooking.

The Predators quickly put pressure on Prusek, but the puck kicked out to Foote who skated with it along the boards. Foote hesitated for an instant as he entered the right circle and teammate Todd Marchant drew a defenseman on the left wing. Foote fired the shot, beating Vokoun inside the near post.

“I wanted to pass it, but the defenseman went right over to Marchant,” Foote said. “Once he slid, I was going to try to go around him and try to pass. I had the real quick thought that if he just moves over a tad, I’m going to release it—and I got a little lucky.”

Foote pumped his fists before being bowled over by teammates. It was the second goal for Foote, who played for Quebec and Colorado for 13 seasons.

“Those are fun goals,” he said. “As a defenseman, that’s unfamiliar territory. It’s emotional. You have to have fun at the game, too.”

With the game tied at 1-1, Hartigan gave Columbus a late lead with his first goal, scoring on a backhander through traffic with 3:27 left.

“What a good feeling, especially to give us the lead with 3 minutes left,” Hartigan said. “I was struggling a little bit to score that first one this year, and finally one fell for me.”

With 39.2 seconds remaining, however, recent Blue Jackets acquisition Jason Chimera was called for hooking Kimmo Timonen. The Predators pulled Vokoun, giving them a 6-on-4 skating advantage.

During a flurry, Hall scored the tying goal on a backhander from the slot with 19.5 seconds left.

“The last minute like that, that’s the kind of goal everybody dreams about,” he said.

The teams traded goals in the second period, with Letowski picking up his third. Letowski skated across the face of the goal, waiting until Vokoun sprawled to the ice before sliding the puck past him at 5:28.

Kariya’s fourth goal came on a cross-ice pass from Steve Sullivan to the right dot, where Kariya snapped off a high shot past Prusek.

“We wanted to break that (Nashville) streak,” Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said. “Hopefully, this will turn the corner for us.”

Notes

Injured Blue Jackets LW Rick Nash (high ankle sprain), Rostislav Klesla (stress fracture in right leg) and Dan Fritsche (sprained ankle) are all skating in practice and might return within a week. … Columbus has won three straight against Nashville, which entered the NHL in the 1998-99 season—two years before the Blue Jackets.

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