National Hockey League
Nashville 3, Columbus 1
When: 8:00 PM ET, Thursday, January 14, 2021
Where: Bridgestone Arena, Nashville, Tennessee
Referees: Pierre Lambert, Francois St. Laurent
Linesmen: Jonny Murray, James Tobias
Attendance: N/A

Filip Forsberg scored the tiebreaking goal in the third period and the Nashville Predators earned a 3-1 win over the visiting Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday in the season opener for both teams.

At 5:48 of the third period, Forsberg took a short pass off a faceoff in his own end. Forsberg maneuvered his way down the boards and past two Blue Jackets players, completing the great individual effort by firing a wrist shot past Columbus goalie Joonas Korpisalo.

Three of the newest members of the Nashville roster recorded their first points in their team debuts. October trade acquisition Luke Kunin scored the Predators' first goal of the game while free agent signings Erik Haula and Brad Richardson tallied assists.

Calle Jarnkrok scored an empty-net goal for the Predators with 93 seconds remaining in the game, assisted by Roman Josi and Rocco Grimaldi.

Boone Jenner gave Columbus an early lead 9:24 into the first period after taking advantage of a pair of fortunate bounces.

A deflected puck toward center ice found Nashville's Dante Fabbro, but the puck skipped over Fabbro's stick while he was attempting a pass. Jenner was in position to take possession and streak in on a breakaway, burying the chance for the Blue Jackets' first goal of the season.

Kunin equalized 13:09 into the second period. A pass from Haula set up a two-on-one play between Kunin and Matt Duchene, with Kunin keeping the puck and converting the shot.

It took the Predators more than eight minutes to record their first shot of the game, but they ended up outshooting Columbus by a 35-30 margin.

Juuse Saros stopped 29 of 30 shots for the victory.

Korpisalo saved 32 of 34 shots. He got the starting nod over Elvis Merzlikins in the Jackets' opener, but the two Columbus goalies are expected to split time this season.

Thursday's game was the first of eight meetings between the two teams in the condensed 2021 schedule. The rematch takes place in quick fashion on Saturday, with the Predators again hosting the Blue Jackets in Nashville.

--Field Level Media

Top Game Performances
Columbus   Nashville
Boone Jenner 1 Points Filip Forsberg 1
Boone Jenner 1 Goals Filip Forsberg 1
Boone Jenner 0 Assists Mark Borowiecki 1
N/A Power Play Goals N/A
N/A Short Handed Goals N/A
Joonas Korpisalo .941 Save Percentage Juuse Saros .967
Joonas Korpisalo 32 Saves Juuse Saros 29
Team Stats Summary
Team Shots Goals Power Play Penalty Kill Penalty Mins Face Offs Won
Columbus 30 1 0-2 3-3 6 34
Nashville 35 3 0-3 2-2 4 29
Upcoming Games
  • Nashville will play their next game at home against Columbus. The Predators have a W/L % of .000 after a win and .000 after a loss.
  • Columbus will play their next game on the road against Nashville. The Blue Jackets have a W/L % of .000 after a win and .000 after a loss.