NASHVILLE -- In its first game without the traded Rick Nash, Columbus showed that it might not be the pushover it's been for much of its 12-year National Hockey League existence.
Sergei Bobrovsky turned away 32 of 34 shots through overtime, then stopped five of six Nashville chances in the shootout Saturday night as the Blue Jackets shrugged off a bad start to earn two points in a 3-2 victory.
Derick Brassard supplied the clinching tally on Columbus' sixth attempt in the shootout against Pekka Rinne, who supplied 26 saves and an assist, and Bobrovsky stoned Craig Smith on a backhand attempt to end it.
"I thought we just battled and that was the biggest thing," said left wing Nick Foligno, one of the Jackets' six offseason acquisitions. "We worked hard through the adversity we had and any time you do that, you're going to give yourself a chance to win the hockey game."
The biggest adversity came right after the opening puck dropped as Martin Erat couldn't have scripted a better start to the Predators' season.
Erat sent the sold-out crowd at Bridgestone Arena into a frenzy when he accepted a cross-ice pass from Sergei Kostitsyn, angled from right wing into the middle and whipped a 30-foot wrist shot past Bobrovsky 39 seconds into the game.
"I was just trying to shoot it between the defensemen," Erat said. "I was happy about that one, but I wasn't happy about our 60-minute game."
With overtime and the shootout, it was actually more than 60 minutes, but Erat and Nashville had reason to be disappointed, and not just because of the score. The Predators weren't their normally crisp, efficient selves, giving the puck away more than twice as much as Columbus and appearing to play with heavy legs as the game progressed.
"There was no doubt that there was a bit of sloppiness," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "Too many turnovers, some real critical errors. And we don't have much time to turn this around with the shortened season."
Every game is a bit more crucial in this 48-game season, which is why this might be a big momentum boost for the Jackets. It was just their sixth win in 36 games in Nashville.
"I think we showed we've got a lot of talent on this team," Foligno said.
Foligno got Columbus on the board at 16:08 of the first period with Erat in the penalty box for slashing, deflecting Fedor Tyutin's blue-line slapper past Pekka Rinne.
Nashville responded at 17:55 with Brandon Dubinsky in the box for roughing. Ryan Ellis recorded the goal when his centering pass for Patric Hornqvist caromed off Nikita Nikitin and through Bobrovsky's legs for a 2-1 lead.
After the teams combined for 25 shots in the first period, they appeared to tighten up defensively in the second. The Blue Jackets gained a territorial edge midway through the second and evened the score at 12:05 when Anisimov -- one of three players acquired in the Nash trade on July 23 -- took Tyutin's pass and swept a backhander past Rinne, then punched the glass in celebration.
Following a scoreless third period and overtime, Anisimov scored in the shootout's second round. The Predators' David Legwand answered in the third round, but Ellis and Colin Wilson missed chances to give them the win.
"Without a doubt, I could tell a little bit of our timing was off," Nashville captain Shea Weber said. "We're excited to be back and you could feel the enthusiasm in the building. We just have to get back to work Monday and try to get two points."
NOTES: Trotz worked his 1,066th game behind the team's bench, the second-longest current NHL tenure behind Buffalo's Lindy Ruff. The only other coach in pro sports who has a longer tenure with the same team is Gregg Popovich of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs ... This is the first of five meetings this year between the teams, with three occurring in Nashville ... Columbus evened its record in season openers at 5-5-2 since joining the NHL for the 2000-01 season ... The Predators host St. Louis Monday and then start a seven-game, 15-day road trip Tuesday in Minnesota ... Five of the Blue Jackets' six offseason acquisitions -- Anisimov, Foligno, Bobrovsky, Dubinsky and D Adrian Aucoin -- were in the lineup.