09 02 50 20
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Nikolai Zherdev got his first NHL goal. It just took longer than the home crowd thought it should have.
Rem Murray, Scott Hartnell, Greg Johnson and Scott Walker scored goals, and Tomas Vokoun stopped 37 shots in Nashville's 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night. But Zherdev provided a glimpse of what all the hype was about.
Zherdev, the Blue Jackets' first-round draft pick who flew out of Russia on Sunday, scored his first NHL goal and had another one disallowed.
"I feel a little bit sorry for myself with the first goal being disallowed," he said through an interpreter. "So I tried to prove to everybody that I could score. I tried very hard and finally I scored my first goal. Every goal I score I like to pump my fist. I was really happy for myself and my team."
Zherdev, who also assisted on Rick Nash's 17th goal in the final minute, was met with a standing ovation when he skated to the bench during a break late in the game.
He appeared to score a spectacular goal at 12:31 of the first.
The 19-year-old pulled the puck away from Nashville defenseman Marek Zidlicky at the back boards, then spun and went wide of the goal on the wraparound while Vokoun braced for the shot. While in mid-air he wristed the puck past Vokoun.
The officials spent five minutes reviewing video of the goal, while the crowd booed loudly. When referee Eric Furlatt waved off the goal -- the back pegs of the goal lifted for just an instant when Zidlicky stumbled as he tried to recover from losing the puck -- the crowd booed for 30 seconds.
"Their crowd was going pretty crazy after they scored and I thought, jeez, we might be in for a long night," Hartnell said. "Once it got disallowed, we said maybe we got a break here and let's keep it going."
The decision to disallow the goal was made by officials in Toronto who reviewed the video.
"They go to Toronto on everything -- everything has to be done out of Toronto," an angry Columbus coach Doug MacLean said. "I don't want to comment on it. It's crazy."
Nashville extended its franchise-record winning streak to six, and won for the fourth straight time on the road. The Predators are 10-2-0-0 in their last 12 games.
The Predators are one of the early surprises in the NHL with a record of 14-10-1-0. They didn't win their 14th game last season until Jan. 18.
Nashville broke open a scoreless game with two goals in a 21-second span of the second period.
Jason York's blast from the top of the right circle was redirected by Murray, who was skating across the crease, for his fourth goal of the season.
Before that goal could even be announced, David Legwand assisted on Hartnell's ninth of the year.
Johnson's goal came on a two-on-one rush in the third period.
"In the second period we played with some emotion and came out with some fire," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "That was where we stole the game from them."
Zherdev scored on a shot from the left hash with 5:32 left to cut the Nashville lead to 3-1. Nash then redirected a shot by Zherdev with 20.7 seconds left to narrow the lead to one before Walker scored five seconds later into an empty net.
Nash was impressed with Zherdev.
"He reminds me a lot of (Atlanta star Ilya) Kovalchuk and how he sees the ice, his hands," Nash said. "I think he could have had about six goals tonight."
In the second period, Hartnell burst past a defender near the right boards and charged the net, colliding with Nashville goaltender Marc Denis at the near post while chopping the puck high and past the goalie.
This time the officials took 10 minutes before disallowing the score -- and the ruling was greeted with cheers.