GAME DAY: at Nashville
Jackets back in Music City after win in last trip
WATCH: FOX Sports Ohio (HD) | LISTEN: CD102.5 FM & BlueJackets.com
GAME DAY ON THE ROAD presented by:
|For both the Blue Jackets and Nashville Predators, this is a game that isn’t very difficult to get up for. The Central Division rivalry goes back to the Blue Jackets’ inception, and there have been numerous spirited barnburners over the years.
Tonight at Bridgestone Arena, the Blue Jackets will take the ice with a much different (and happier) feeling than the last time they did so just over a month ago. As their fathers watched from the stands, the Blue Jackets put together one of their most complete road games of the season and won a thrilling 4-3 game thanks to a James Wisniewski slap shot in overtime. Though they have fond memories of that meeting with the Predators, the last matchup overall was one the Blue Jackets must soon forget.
Holding a 3-1 lead with 1:36 left in the third period, the Blue Jackets appeared ready to collect two points and get their five-game homestand off to a positive start. The Predators, their normal scrappy selves, clawed back with two goals in the final 90 seconds of regulation and got the game-winner from Colin Wilson in overtime – stunning the Blue Jackets and a lively crowd at Nationwide Arena. Blue Jackets coach Scott Arniel has used many moments from that game as teaching points in recent practices, and he said his team will be ready to go once the puck drops tonight.
As for the Predators, they were riding high a few days ago and in the midst of a five-game winning streak that ironically began with that comeback win in Columbus. They went on to defeat Anaheim, Calgary, Detroit and St. Louis over the next 10 days to jump into the eighth playoff spot in the Western Conference. They lost 4-1 to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday night at Verizon Center, and coach Barry Trotz was none too pleased with his team’s inability to get off to a quick start in that game.
Anders Lindback started the game in D.C. to give Pekka Rinne a much-needed night off, and it’s expected that Rinne is going to be Nashville’s starting goaltender tonight against the Blue Jackets.