Blue Jackets 4, Predators 3

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP)—The improved Columbus Blue Jackets are picking up points in pressure situations.

David Vyborny scored the second of his two goals with 1:23 remaining to give the Blue Jackets a 4-3 comeback victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday night.

“Nasher (Rick Nash) found me and I just tried to put it upstairs,” Vyborny said. “We’re playing different from the beginning of the season. If we would have gotten down a few goals we wouldn’t have come back.”

Nash and Duvie Westcott also scored for Columbus, which came from behind to win for the second night in a row.

“There’s immense trust and confidence in our ability to come back in any game,” said goalie Marc Denis, who had 24 saves and has won eight of his last 10 starts.

Rostislav Klesla had three assists and Jan Hrdina added two for Columbus, which has won eight of its last 11.

Scott Hartnell, Adam Hall and Yanic Perreault scored power-play goals for Nashville, which had won their last four against the Blue Jackets.

“We used all four lines,” Predators coach Barry Trotz said. “I thought if we would have went to overtime it would have really benefited us, but it never got there.”

With Columbus trailing 3-2, Westcott scored a short-handed goal late in the second period.

On the winning goal, Nash muscled past two Predators defenders behind the net and then, on his knees, slid a pass to Vyborny, who beat Tomas Vokoun for his 15th goal.

Columbus had a 2-0 lead before Nashville scored three times.

“We played a solid first period,” Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said.

After Klesla’s rush into the Predators’ end, Hrdina centered the puck from behind the net. Vyborny accidentally deflected the puck off his own skate and in at 8:43 of the first.

Shortly after a 29-second, two-man advantage expired, Sergei Fedorov’s pass from the right circle found Nash alone at the back post. Nash simply let the puck carom off his stick and in for his 14th goal.

Fedorov has 13 points in his last 16 games.

Hartnell took a right wing pass from Paul Kariya and zipped a low shot from the left circle past a stumbling Denis to make it 2-1.

Perreault thought he tied the game late in the period but the goal was waved off. It was ruled that Perreault intentionally punched the puck past Denis.

“Well it hit the shaft of my stick and I guess they couldn’t see it on the reply,” he said.

Hall tied it with a man-advantage goal at 5:04 with a one-timer from the slot.

With Westcott off with a high-sticking double minor and Radoslav Suchy in the penalty box, Perreault also found room in the slot and snapped the puck past Denis to give Nashville a 3-2 lead at 11:20.

“We got into trouble with the penalties and lost a lot of momentum in the second,” Gallant said.

With Columbus down a man again, Trevor Letowski stole the puck starting a two-on-two break. He dropped the puck at the Predators’ blue line to Westcott, who beat Vokoun with a wrist shot from the right circle.

“We grinded it out and waited for our opportunities,” Westcott said.


Columbus D Bryan Berard, third on the team with 32 points, reinjured his back Friday against Minnesota and did not play. D Luke Richardson, sidelined five weeks with a broken jaw, made his return to fill Berard’s roster spot. … Klesla’s three assists tied his career high. … Nashville scored three power-play goals in a 7-2 win over visiting Columbus last Saturday. … Five of the Blue Jackets’ seven short-handed goals this season have been against Nashville.

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Three Stars

  Game Winning Goal
D. Vyborny D. Vyborny
Columbus Blue Jackets
Scored at 18:37 of 3rd


Goalie Team Shot Save
Tomas Vokoun Pit 24 20