Published January 13, 2015
Derick Brassard supplied the game winner in the sixth round of a shootout to lift the Columbus Blue Jackets over the Nashville Predators, 3-2, at Bridgestone Arena.
Nick Foligno and Artem Anisimov supplied the goals for Columbus, which finished last season at the bottom of the Western Conference with 65 points.
"It's a great feeling to win here," Brassard said. "What a great challenge for us to come here in the first game with some new faces and already tonight our new guys made the difference."
Sergei Bobrovsky bounced back from allowing a goal just 39 seconds into the contest to make 32 saves in the victory.
Martin Erat and Ryan Ellis each scored for the Predators, who were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs for the second straight season in the 2011-12 campaign.
Pekka Rinne stopped 26 shots in defeat.
After each team failed to convert in the opening round of the shootout, Anisimov lifted a backhander over the left shoulder of Rinne and under the crossbar to give the Blue Jackets the advantage.
Nashville's Mike Fisher then sent his attempt wide of the net to give Jack Johnson a chance to seal the win, but his wrister from the slot was turned aside and the Predators' David Legwand slipped a backhander inside the right post to keep the shootout alive.
The next four shooters came up empty until Brassard deked to his right before lifting a shot over Rinne's right pad for the game winner, as Craig Smith's backhand attempt at the other end caromed off the left post to end the game.
Erat opened the scoring just 39 seconds into the first period when he cruised through the neutral zone with the puck and fired a shot past Bobrovsky from the high slot.
Foligno knotted the game up with 3:52 to play in the opening frame while on the power play, as he redirected a Fedor Tyutin one-timer into the twine. Ellis gave the Predators back the lead less than two minutes later with a power-play tally of his own, however, sliding the puck through a screen and between the legs of Bobrovsky
Columbus managed to knot the game at the 12:05 mark of the second period moments after a power play expired, as Anisimov grabbed a long outlet pass from Tyutin, fought off a defender as he glided towards the net and slipped a backhander inside the right post.
The score would remain tied from there as Bobrovsky made 12 saves and Rinne stopped six shots through a back-and-forth third period.
The Predators controlled the majority of action in overtime, but they could not get a puck past Bobrovsky to necessitate the shootout.
"Obviously we're working on things in practice, but it's not the same as the game," Nashville defenseman Shea Weber said. "As the season goes on, we have to get better period by period and game by game."
Nashville holds a 31-5-4 series advantage against Columbus since the 2006-07 season ... Columbus went 1-for-2 on the power play, while Nashville converted on its lone man advantage ... Sergei Kostitsyn assisted on both of the Predators' goals.