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POST GAME: at Nashville

Carter hat trick not enough as Jackets fall 6-5 against Predators

Thursday, 12.22.2011 / 11:50 PM ET / News
By Rob Mixer  - BlueJackets.com (@RobMixer)
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POST GAME: at Nashville

POST GAME ON THE ROAD presented by:

For the second time in two weeks, the Predators came back in the third period and broke the Blue Jackets’ hearts.

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Jeff Carter’s first hat trick as a Blue Jacket and a franchise road record four power-play goals went for naught, as Martin Erat scored a breakaway with 8.4 seconds left in the third period to give Nashville a 6-5 victory. The Blue Jackets held leads of 4-1 after the first period and 5-2 during the second period, but could not make them stand up.

They lead 5-4 entering the third period and kept it until the 16:14 mark, when David Legwand scored the game-tying goal on a Predators power play. Just as they did at Nationwide Arena on Dec. 8, the Predators erased a third-period deficit and rallied to earn two points – and they were absolutely deflated after the first period.

Carter scored three goals in a span of 3:18, all while the Blue Jackets were on a major penalty power play and stretched the lead to 4-1, drawing restlessness from the Bridgestone Arena crowd. Columbus scored three times on the major, too, getting a goal from rookie Ryan Johansen at 15:30 of the first.

The Nashville rally started early in the second when Patric Hornqvist scored on a delayed penalty, taking a feed from Shea Weber to make it a 4-2 game.

Columbus answered right back, though, when Johansen scored just over two minutes later. But as this see-saw game went, Nick Spaling scored 61 seconds later to draw within 5-3. Roman Josi’s slapper made it a one-goal game at 13:41 of the second period and Blue Jackets were unable to produce any more offense.

The Predators were the better team 5-on-5 tonight and got a pair of goals on delayed penalties, but they turned the game around when Josi beat Sanford late in the second period. It appeared the game had briefly settled down in the moments leading up to the goal, and the Blue Jackets had an odd-man rush on the shift prior.

Erat capitalized on a turnover and fed the puck to Francis Bouillon at the left point, and his pass was slammed into the top corner by Josi, igniting the building.

The hat trick scored by Jeff Carter in the first period tonight is the 20th in club history and first since Feb. 25, 2011 vs. Phoenix when Matt Calvert registered three goals. It’s the first road hat trick since Kristian Huselius potted three Dec. 16, 2010 at Edmonton.

All three goals for Carter came in a span of 3:18 in the first period. It is the fastest three goals scored by a Blue Jackets player in team history. The previous mark was 9:43 set by Geoff Sanderson on Mar. 29, 2003 at Calgary, a game the Jackets won 6-4. It was Carter’s first hat trick since Nov. 11, 2010 at Carolina.

Columbus set a club road record for power play goals in a game with four. The previous mark of three was set three times previously, with the most recent coming Oct. 7, 2006 at Chicago. Three of the four goals were scored during a 5-minute power play. It marks the most goals the club has scored on a five-minute power play in team history.

Johansen snapped a 16-game goalless skid and 10-game pointless skid with his sixth and seventh goals of the season tonight. He last scored Nov. 12 vs. Winnipeg, while his last point was Nov. 25 vs. Buffalo. It is his second multi-goal game of his NHL career, with his first coming against the Jets.

Rick Nash recorded his fifth multi-point game of the season with two assists on the night. The assists were his first in five games since recording a helper Dec. 8 vs. Nashville.

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