Today's afternoon contest was the 15th game in which the Blue Jackets have scored first.
That's 71.2% of the 21 games they've played thus far that they've started on the right foot. Unfortunately, they're only 6-5-4 in those games after another loss today. This matinee matchup against the Predators started the right way, courtesy of Cam Atkinson, who has been consistently excellent over his last few games. Boone Jenner found him with an excellent feed, and Atkinson did the rest.
CAM YOU DIG IT?!— Columbus Blue Jackets (@BlueJacketsNHL) February 27, 2021
After 20 minutes, the Blue Jackets led 1-0 by virtue of Atkinson's tally. Then, the second period occurred. Like it has been in many other games this season, it was terrible. The Predators scored twice (and it could have been much more) as Mattias Ekholm notched his first and second goals of the season.
The Blue Jackets needed to come out and play a solid third period to have a chance to get a point or more. They weren't able to, as they took an offensive-zone penalty and weren't able to get anything going offensively. Urgency was missing, especially late in the third period, down just a goal with an empty net.
The penalty kill did go 4-4 today, but this one is still going to go in the loss column, as the Blue Jackets fell to 8-9-5. In a season where every game is crucial, the Blue Jackets are in a free fall that they simply can't afford to be in.
The Blue Jackets will take on the Predators again on Sunday. Puck drop is slated for 3:00 P.M.