Hamilton Journal News

Columbus loses 4th straight

- The Columbus Dispatch

It was

NASHVILLE, TENN. — another struggle.

Despite coming out with a good push in the third period, the Blue Jackets weren’t able to get a game-tying goal and fell, 2-1, to the Nashville Predators on Saturday afternoon at Bridgeston­e Arena.

Mattias Ekholm scored two goals and Juusi Saros made 29 saves for the Predators, who improved to 4-1-0 in the first five games of the season series between these teams, including 3-0-0 in this building.

Cam Atkinson scored the lone goal for the Blue Jackets, who got 31 saves from Joonas Korpisalo.

It wasn’t the kind of start the Blue Jackets had Thursday in a 2-0 loss to the Chicago Blackhawks at Nationwide Arena, but it wasn’t a terrible way to open the game.

Korpisalo got some help keeping the puck out of the net on great efforts by Zach Werenski and Oliver Bjorkstran­d to clear rebounds from dangerous areas — including Werenski keeping the puck from crossing the goal line — and the Jackets took a 1-0 lead at 7:26 on Atkinson’s goal.

The veteran right wing capped a 2-on-0 against Saros by smacking the puck into the net off Boone Jenner’s cross-crease feed for his ninth goal of the season, which rewarded Jack Roslovic for starting the play. Roslovic got the second assist after blocking Rocco Grimaldi’s attempted exit pass at the Nashville blue line with his left foot and passing it to Jenner for the scoring chance.

Atkinson’s goal was his eighth in the past 11 games.

Nashville finished the first period with a 12-9 edge in shots, aided by two late power plays, but the Blue Jackets killed both off to preserve their 1-0 lead at the first break.

It didn’t last long, though. Ekholm’s first of two goals in the period tied it 1-1 at 1:12 on his first goal of the season. His second one pushed the Predators into a 2-1 lead with 3:06, scoring almost the same way both times.

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