Originally posted on Pro Sports Daily  |  Last updated 1/19/13
NASHVILLE -- Martin Erat couldn't have scripted a better start to the NHL season. But he probably would have preferred a better finish. In its first game after trading Rick Nash to the New York Rangers, Columbus ruined Nashville's home opener Saturday night when Derick Brassard scored in the sixth round of a shootout to give the Blue Jackets a 3-2 win. Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 32 shots through overtime and five of the Predators' six chances in the shootout, stoning Craig Smith on a backhand attempt to end it. Erat sent the sold-out crowd at Bridgestone Arena into a frenzy when he accepted a cross-ice pass from Sergei Kostitsyn, angled from right wing into the middle and whipped a 30-foot wrist shot past Bobrovsky 39 seconds into the game. The teams then swapped power play goals less than two minutes apart late in the first period. With Erat in the penalty box for slashing, Columbus' Nick Foligno authored the equalizer at 16:08, deflecting Fedor Tyutin's blue-line slapper past Pekka Rinne. Nashville responded at 17:55 with Brandon Dubinsky in the box for roughing. Ryan Ellis recorded the goal when his centering pass for Patric Hornqvist caromed off Nikita Nikitin and through Bobrovsky's legs for a 2-1 lead. After the teams combined for 25 shots in the first period, they appeared to tighten up defensively in the second. The Blue Jackets gained a territorial edge midway through the second and evened the score at the 12:05 mark when Anisimov took Tyutin's pass and swept a backhander past Rinne, then punched the glass in celebration. Neither team scored in the third period, with the Predators outshooting Columbus 11-6. Bobrovsky turned away four shots in the final 2 1/2 minutes to force overtime. NOTES: Nashville coach Barry Trotz worked his 1,066th game behind the team's bench, the second-longest current NHL tenure behind Buffalo's Lindy Ruff. The only other coach in pro sports who has a longer tenure with the same team is Gregg Popovich of the NBA's San Antonio Spurs. ... This is the first of five meetings this year between the teams, with three occurring in Nashville. ... Columbus entered with a 4-5-2 record in season openers since joining the NHL for the 2000-01 season. ... The Predators returned all but two players from last season's team which advanced to the Western Conference semifinals. ... Five of the Blue Jackets' six offseason acquisitions -- centers Artem Anisimov and Brandon Dubinsky, left wing Nick Foligno, goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and defenseman Adrian Aucoin -- were in the lineup.
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