COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Gustav Nyquist scored in the fifth round of the shootout to give the Columbus Blue Jackets a 4-3 win over the Nashville Predators on Thursday night.
Patrik Laine, back in the lineup after missing 19 games with an oblique strain, scored, Alexandre Texier added a goal, and Boone Jenner had a goal and an assist. Elvis Merzlikins made 31 saves for the Blue Jackets, who snapped a two-game skid.
Michael McCarron, Nick Cousins and former Blue Jackets player Ryan Johansen scored in regulation for the Predators. Matt Duchene had two assists, and David Rittich made 26 saves for Nashville.
Laine gave the Blue Jackets a 2-1 lead 24 seconds into the second period. He was playing in memory of his father, Harri Laine, who passed away unexpectedly in November in his native Finland.
“That was probably one of the only games my dad’s never seem me play, so it was definitely emotional before the game,” he said. “I tried to make him proud. I know he always wished for me to work hard every time I go out there. That was kind of my mentality tonight. It was nice to be back.”
Cousins made it 2-2 at 15:31 of the second. His low angle shot went off the back of Merzlikins and rolled into the net for his fourth goal of the season. Johansen gave Nashville a 3-2 lead 35 seconds later on the power play.
“The game is there. The boys are going hard, playing for each other. That’s the sign of a good team. We just have to keep doing that,” Predators forward Mikael Granlund said.
Texier tied it at 3-all at 13:33 of the third period with a shot off the left post.
“It’s always nice to score some goals and helped the team win,” Texier said. “We have to find a way to get two points, and that’s what we did.”
The Predators on Wednesday played for the first time since Dec. 17, lost 5-3 at the Washington Capitals and had their seven-game winning streak halted.
“When you talk about identity, you watch tonight’s game by probably every statistical measure we certainly deserve to win. We didn’t find a way to do it,” Nashville coach John Hynes said. “We got one point. We should have had two.”
Nashville took a 1-0 lead on a goal by McCarron 2:50 in off a pass from the right side by Matt Luff. McCarron was in the high slot and his shot went under the crossbar.
McCarron was recalled from the taxi squad on Wednesday. It was his first goal this season in nine games.
Jenner tied it 1-1 at 6:26 by tipping a shot from Vladislav Gavrikov. Jenner practiced Wednesday for the first time since leaving the COVID-19 protocols. He leads the Blue Jackets with 12 goals.
NOTES: The Predators have three players in health and safety protocols. … Columbus played for the first time since Dec. 16 at the Edmonton Oilers. They had five postponements.
Nashville: Host Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday.
Columbus: Host Carolina Hurricanes on Saturday.
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