The Blue Jackets were out of this game. Then, they made their way back into it.
And for a few minutes early in the third period, they threw their opportunity away.
Two goals in the span of 29 seconds spelled doom for Columbus tonight at Nationwide Arena, in a 4-2 loss that earns a series split with the Nashville Predators. And it was ugly, really, right from the start.
The Predators had their way with the Blue Jackets, out-shooting them by a nearly 2-to-1 margin throughout and controlling long stretches of play. After a decent start from the Jackets, the Predators scored twice in the first period to take a 2-0 lead into the dressing room after 20 minutes. It wasn't their best work by any means, but the Blue Jackets had an answer in the second period.
Boone Jenner (shorthanded) and Gabriel Carlsson (the first of his NHL career) tied the game, 2-2, giving the Blue Jackets some life in a game where they didn't deserve it. They were given a life line, but they didn't do much with it.
Two quick strikes from the Predators in the first 44 seconds – yes, 44 seconds – to turn a 2-2 game into a 4-2 game. Their consistent dominance throughout manifested into a short burst that dictated the outcome; the Blue Jackets simply weren't good enough to get a win tonight, and their third period was an issue.
Elvis Merzlikins suffered an injury on a net-front play early in the third period, and did not return to the game. Zach Werenski (lower body) remains out of the lineup, and David Savard missed the game due to illness.
The Blue Jackets bare back in action Tuesday night at Nationwide Arena against the Chicago Blackhawks. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.