NHL Game Summary - Nashville at Columbus
(Thursday, December 31st)
Final Score: Nashville 2, Columbus 1 (OT)
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - David Legwand scored 28 seconds into overtime to give Nashville a 2-1 victory over Columbus at Nationwide Arena.
Joel Ward set up the score and Andreas Thuresson's third-period tally with 7:21 left in regulation that forced the extra frame. Dan Ellis finished with 31 saves for the Predators, who got their second straight win.
Raffi Torres scored for the Blue Jackets, who have losses in 11 of their last 12 games. Mathieu Garon had 27 saves in the setback, the club's fifth in a row to Nashville.
"We've got to start finishing. There's really nothing else about it," said Torres. "Capitalizing our chances will end up getting us more points in the standings and moving us up, so we have to focus in on that. Mainly, we have to get working on playing harder in the third."
Legwand picked the pocket of a Blue Jacket defender in the right corner, and Ward gained control and fed Thuresson in front to tie the game.
Then Ward did the dirty work, pestering a pair of Columbus players to the right of Garon, enough to get the puck out front where Legwand used a quick release to beat Garon to the glove side and end the game.
"I just saw their 'D' man fall down and I just tried to put as much pressure as I could and stay with the puck, and fortunately I just threw it out in front and Legwand finished it off," said Ward.
Columbus had a 1-0 lead six minutes in on Torres' tip in off a wild scramble in front. Antoine Vermette sent a pass across the low slot to Jakub Voracek, whose shot was knocked down by a sprawling Ellis in the crease. Torres, though, was there to clean up the rebound.
Columbus is 9-6-5 at home this year while Nashville improved to 12-7-1 on the road, closing out a three-game trek at 2-1-0. Nashville has won six of its last eight on the road...Columbus has lost all four meetings with Nashville this season, while the Preds have won 10 of the last 13 meetings overall...Nashville's Martin Erat missed the game after leaving Tuesday's win against St. Louis with a knee injury. He has a team high 14 goals and 27 points this season.
12/31 22:11:56 ET