NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Columbus’ new additions found a way to end the Blue Jackets’ Music City misery.
James Wisniewski scored 2:43 into overtime, and the Blue Jackets beat Nashville 4-3 on Saturday night for their first road win against the Predators in more than five years.
There was traffic in front of Pekka Rinne when Wisniewski’s slapshot from the right point sailed high over the goalie’s right shoulder for Columbus’ first road win of the season.
“It went straight in, he didn’t really move that much,” Wisniewski said. “I’m guessing, being the goaltender that he is, he probably got screened. Luckily enough for me.”
Wisniewski was signed as an unrestricted free agent last summer but missed the team’s first eight games because of a suspension he received during the pre-season.
R.J. Umberger, Jeff Carter and Vinny Prospal scored for the Blue Jackets, who snapped a 17-game losing streak in Nashville—the longest active run in the NHL. The Blue Jackets’ previous win in Nashville was April 3, 2006.
“I’ve heard it too long about how long it has been since we’ve won here, and the guys were really built up from the other night in Boston and played a great game,” Columbus coach Scott Arniel said. “I know we sat back a bit in the third period, but we did a lot of good things. We really pressured the Predators in their end of the rink and got rewarded for it.”
Colin Wilson, Mike Fisher and Nick Spaling scored for the Predators.
“They were checking well, and I give Columbus full credit,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “Their record is not an indication of how good a team they are. They are very talented and they’ve been playing pretty well.”
Columbus led 3-2 before Spaling picked up the rebound of Shea Weber’s shot from the right point and slid it by goalie Curtis Sanford at 14:24 in the third period.
The Blue Jackets had taken the lead on Umberger’s power-play goal early in the final period.
With Nashville defenceman Ryan Suter serving a roughing minor, the rebound of Wisniewski’s shot from the left point found the stick of Ryan Johansen, who slid the puck to Umberger for an open net and his second goal of the season.
The Blue Jackets also got a power-play goal in the second period when Prospal beat Rinne with a backhander, tying it at two.
Wilson made it 1-0 at 18:29 of the opening period.
With the Predators on a power play, David Legwand fired a one-timer from the high slot. Sanford made that stop, but Wilson dug the puck out and shot it glove side for his fifth of the season.
Sanford, making his second start in two games, improved to 4-0 in Nashville.
“There really is no secret,” Sanford said of his success there. “It was basically a fresh start for us in this building. We have a lot of new faces in here, myself included. I don’t think you can really look at history. This is a new team.”
Carter’s first goal with the Blue Jackets tied it 3:29 into the second.
Driving down the left side, Carter pulled up in the high slot. His wrist shot deflected off Suter’s skate and past Rinne on the stick side.
Carter was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers in the off-season. An early foot injury sidelined him for 10 games, and Saturday was just his fourth game since being activated from the injured list.
Nashville regained the lead on Fisher’s power-play goal at 10:27 of the second.
In front of the Columbus net, Fisher grabbed the rebound of Weber’s slap shot from the top of the right circle and beat Sanford for his third on the season.
“With traffic and bodies there, at some point you throw everything you can to the net,” Fisher said. “That was a hard shot by Webs. When you have a guy that can shoot the puck that hard, it is hard to control the rebounds as a goalie.”
Weber and Suter both had two assists in the game.
NOTES: Legwand returned to the lineup after missing four games with an undisclosed upper body injury. … Umberger is tied with Nikolai Zherdev for fourth in Blue Jackets history with 76 goals. … With an assist on Wisniewski’s goal , Columbus C Antoine Vermette recorded his 300th NHL point.