GAME BLOG: Blue Jackets vs. Predators
9:35 P.M. -- FINAL: Blue Jackets: 4. Predators: 3!
9:32 P.M. -- Predators, extra man in tow, add one more. Now 4 to 3.
9:30 P.M. -- Predators put another on the board with 1:02 remaining to make it 4 to 2.
9:20 P.M. -- Now it's Brassard's turn to light it up! Jackets 4 - Predators 1!
9:15 P.M. -- Nikitin lights the lamp! Jackets 3 - Predators 1! Queue up the Bob Evans Chili Chant!
8:55 P.M. -- Third period's about to get started here at Nationwide Arena. A large 20 minutes loom for both clubs, but the Blue Jackets hold the edge on Mark Letestu's goal. It's been a tactical affair so far, but will both sides take some chances in the final stanza? Here we go...
8:30 P.M. -- The Predators get on the board with about 5 minutes remaining in the period.
8:25 P.M. -- Dancing Kevin makes some new friends.
8:20 P.M. -- Goal? GOAL! Mark Letestu drills his 7th goal this season! Dalton Prout got his first NHL point with the assist. Oh, and Vinny assisted, too!
8:00 P.M. -- Mark Wyant talks with Derek MacKenzie after one period of play: listen here.
7:43 P.M. -- FIRST PERIOD ANALYSIS: Not a bad opening frame for the Blue Jackets, but it's a scoreless tie in Nationwide Arena. The Predators had a 9-1 lead in shots at the first media timeout, but Columbus was much stronger in the following minutes. The Dubinsky line and Johansen line were very good, as was the fourth line in getting the Jackets' energy back up. A late power play came up empty, but they pumped 14 shots at Pekka Rinne in the period.
7:25 P.M. -- You just knew the Predators would come out with a strong opening push after a disappointing loss in Edmonton over the weekend. They led the shot total by a 7-1 margin in the first 7:16 of the game but the Blue Jackets came back with a few quality shifts of their own, nearly potting a goal from the Johansen line -- but Rinne made his best stop of the opening period with his glove.
7:10 P.M. -- The puck has dropped at Nationwide Arena as the Blue Jackets look to extend their franchise-record point streak to 11 games.
6:55 P.M. --Go behind the scenes and view the photo gallery for today's game!
6:40 P.M. --The men are donning the third jersey tonight!
Learn more about the history and tradition behind the third jersey.
TIME TO GET EXCITED! Tag #GAMEDAYCBJ on Instagram & we will post our favorite pictures on the blog!
3:00 P.M -- Some pre-game videos to get you even more pumped for tonight's game against the Preds:
2:00 P.M. -- #CBJSocial Contest! Here's YOUR chance to win a pair of tickets to the Blue Jackets Social Station for tonight's game. Follow along closely for the contest rules....
1:00 P.M. -- TOUT IT OUT: Check out our latest TOUT update from today's morning skate...
12:35 P.M. -- With MacKenzie returning, it appears as if Colton Gillies is the odd man out tonight for the Blue Jackets.
12:00 P.M. -- Predators coach Barry Trotz said Sergei Kostitsyn will indeed be a healthy scratch tonight, citing "accountability" for his actions in Sunday's game vs. the Oilers. Recently-recalled Taylor Beck is likely to take his spot in the Nashville lineup.
11:15 A.M. -- MAC ATTACK: Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards confirmed that Derek MacKenzie returns to the lineup tonight. Adrian Aucoin is out for the second consecutive game, and Richards yesterday deemed it mostly maintenance and managing Aucoin's energy.
10:45 A.M. -- GO BOBBY GO: Sergei Bobrovsky will make the start in goal tonight for the Blue Jackets. At the other end of the ice, Pekka Rinne gets the call for Nashville.
10:10 A.M. -- BLUE JACKETS LINES: Here are the #CBJ lines being used in today's morning skate...
Umberger - Johansen - Foligno
Calvert - Dubinsky - Atkinson
Prospal - Brassard - Letestu
Gillies/MacKenzie - Anisimov - Boll
Tyutin - Johnson
Nikitin - Prout
Moore - Erixon
10:05 A.M. -- The morning skate is under way! Adrian Aucoin is not skating but Derek MacKenzie is out there, and it's a possibility he could return to the lineup tonight. Sergei Bobrovsky gets the start between the pipes for the Blue Jackets.
9:30 A.M. -- GAME DAY PREVIEW: In the second game of their five-game season series, the Blue Jackets and Predators meet up for a largely important contest tonight in Columbus. Get the scoop on the match-up with our Game Day preview, which you can read by clicking here.
9:15 A.M. -- #CBJTop5 Plays: What a week it was for the Blue Jackets, with some spectacular goaltending and some sick moves in the shootout! Jackets TV has you covered with the best of the best in the latest edition of the Top 5 Plays of the Week. Check it out:
9:00 A.M. -- Good morning and happy game day, everyone! We've got a dandy on our hands tonight at Nationwide Arena. Sporting identical 11-12-6 records through the first 29 games of the 48-game season, the Blue Jackets and Predators begin their home stretch tonight in a crucial battle for playoff positioning in the Western Conference. Both clubs sat two points out of the eighth and final playoff spot entering today, and a win for either side could get them that much closer to being part of the race in the final month of the campaign.
Here's what we know: Sergei Bobrovsky, recently named the NHL's third star of the week, is the likely starter between the pipes for Columbus. It's expected that Pekka Rinne - who always plays well against the Blue Jackets - will start for Nashville.
We'll have the usual boatload of coverage throughout the morning and afternoon as the 7 p.m. puck drop approaches. Keep it locked right here for lineup news/notes, tonight's official starting goalies, ticket giveaways, other contests & maybe even YOUR tweets and pictures could find their way on the blog.