Erat's late goal lifts Predators past Blue Jackets

Published December 22, 2011

| Associated Press

Martin Erat scored with 8.4 seconds remaining to give the Nashville Predators a 6-5 comeback victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.

Mike Fisher, Patric Hornqvist, Nick Spaling, Roman Josi, and David Legwand also scored for Nashville, which has won six of its last seven.

Jeff Carter had a hat trick in the first period and Ryan Johansen had two power-play goals for the Blue Jackets, who have lost four straight.

The Predators trailed 5-2 midway about 8 minutes into the second period before scoring the game's last four goals. Spaling and Josi's goals pulled the Predators within one less than six minutes later, and Legwand's power-play score with 3:46 to go in the third tied it.

On the tying goal, Colin Wilson retrieved the rebound of Shea Weber's shot from the left point. From behind the Columbus net, Wilson found Legwand on the right side, where he beat Blue Jackets goaltender Curtis Sanford for his ninth goal of the season.

In the final seconds, Ryan Suter's pass found Erat streaking through the neutral zone. Erat split two Columbus defenders before sliding a backhand around a stunned Sanford.

Fisher got the Predators on the scoreboard first, with a power-play score at 12:29 of the opening period.

Carter's third career hat trick came in the span of 3:18 of the first period, setting a Columbus franchise record for fastest three goals by one player. Geoff Sanderson scored three goals in the span of 9:43 on March 29, 2003, at Calgary.

Two of Carter's goals came during a 5-minute power play. At 14:26 of the first, Nashville's Brian McGrattan was assessed a major penalty for interference and a game misconduct after hitting Jared Boll near the Nashville bench. Boll stayed on the ice for a while after the hit and then went back to the locker room, but he returned to the game in the second period.

Johansen extended the Blue Jackets' lead to 4-1 at 15:30 of the first.

The Blue Jackets came in ranked 26th in the NHL on the power play, but they were 4 for 6 with the man-advantage against Nashville.

After Hornqvist and Johansen traded goals early in the second period, Spaling pulled the Predators to 5-3 at 8:53 and Josi made it a one-goal game with 6:19 to go in the period.

Pekka Rinne allowed all five goals Columbus goals, but hung on for his 16th win of the season.

NOTES: Nashville D Kevin Klein missed his second consecutive game with the flu. ... Weber extended his point scoring streak to four games. ... Five of Carter's 10 goals on the season have come against Nashville. ... The Blue Jackets and Predators have already played four of the six games in their season series.

URL

http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2011/12/22/erats-late-goal-lifts-predators-past-blue-jackets/