Taylor Beck started something, to say the least.
The first goal of his NHL career touched off a scoring frenzy unprecedented in Nashville Predators’ history, one that carried them to a 5-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday at Bridgestone Arena.
Nashville scored four times in a span of 3:04 of the first period, 30 seconds faster than the previous mark for the fastest four goals in franchise history. In the middle of it all, the Blue Jackets got one of their own and the combined four goals in 1:54 was another franchise record.
“I’ve worked my whole life to score goals in the NHL,” Beck, who added an assist on the Predators’ third, said. “I finally got my first and it’s a great feeling.”
He can only hope that the effect on his career is more prolonged than it was for the team.
Nashville chased Blue Jackets goalie Sergei Bobrovsky after the fourth goal, which came 10:15 into the contest.
At that time the Predators had 11 shots on goal. They managed just 12 the rest of the way and were outshot in the contest 24-23. The outcome was no assured until Roman Josi scored into an empty net with 24 seconds to go.
“I’m real happy for anybody who gets their first goal in the National Hockey League and [Beck] got us started there,” coach Barry Trotz said. “… It was a great start for us. Then we sort of stopped playing in the second and third. We got on our heels a little bit.”
Actually they were shorthanded — in more ways than one.
Just 12 seconds after Matt Halischuk made it 4-1, Rich Clune was assessed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for interference. Nashville killed off the penalty, which included 1:53 of five-on-three after Mike Fisher was called for goaltender interference, but never really got back on the offensive.
As it turned out, though, they already had gotten all the goals they needed — and the one Beck always wanted.
“They were playing at a level that we weren’t ready to get at,” Columbus coach Todd Richards said. “… We needed everyone on top of their game. We didn’t have everyone and when that happens that’s what you get.”
• Briefly: Defenseman Hal Gill was activated from injured reserve and played for the first time since Feb. 23, a stretch of 12 games. Ryan Ellis, one of six players who appeared in each of Nashville’s first 31 games, was a healthy scratch. … Pekka Rinne earned the 150th win of his career, which made him the second Nashville goalie to reach that mark. His all-time record is 150-82-31. … Martin Erat had two assists, which gave him back-to-back multi-point games for the first time this season.