Predators work overtime and beyond, but fall in opener

Sunday, January 20, 2013 at 12:02am

The Nashville Predators got off to a fast start, but it took a long time to finish their season-opener. That wait wasn’t worth it.

Martin Erat scored 39 seconds after the opening faceoff, but the Predators ultimately lost in a shootout, 3-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets before a sellout crowd at Bridgestone Arena.

“We’re excited to be back,” captain Shea Weber said. “I think you saw the enthusiasm and the energy right away. The building was electric and we really fed off that. Obviously, it helped us get the lead.”

Following Erat’s goal, the teams traded power-play goals before the end of the first period. Ryan Ellis scored for the Predators 1:48 after the Blue Jackets had tied it. Columbus got even again with 7:55 to play in the second period and it remained 2-2 through the end of regulation and the five-minute overtime period.

Sergei Kostitsyn assisted on both Nashville goals.

“You’re never going to simulate games in practice,” Erat said. “… The game is totally different. You have to get used to it and every game is going to get better. We have to just battle through the first couple games.”

The season was scheduled to start but more than three months ago but was delayed because NHL owners locked out players while the sides negotiated a collective bargaining agreement. The protracted talks left time for only a six-day training camp with no preseason contests prior to Saturday, the first day of the 48-game regular season on which 26 of the league’s 30 teams played.

Nashville and Columbus were the only ones to play beyond regulation. Not only did they make it to the shootout, it was in the sixth round that Columbus’ Derick Brassard beat goalie Pekka Rinne, which became the decisive tally when Craig Smith failed to answer.

The game included two fights plus one set of coincidental roughing minors. The final shot total was 34-28 in Nashville’s favor.

“We didn’t have any exhibitions so I knew it was going to be a roller coaster ride and it sort of was [Saturday] night,” coach Barry Trotz said. “You’re getting your group sort of back together and then you go through spells of 10 minutes where the other team has some pressure on.

“That’s part of the 48-game season. That’s going to happen.”

10 Comments on this post:

By: Rasputin72 on 1/20/13 at 12:27

It appeared that Columbus was the better team and deserved to win.

By: TITAN1 on 1/20/13 at 7:04

Rasp, you think anything from another city is better than anything that Nashville and middle Tennessee has to offer. You hate our city for some reason as you never say anything good about it. Why don't you take your hatred and move far away.

By: 4gold on 1/20/13 at 7:14

Oh Geeez! Lose the home opener in front of a sell out crowd of fans with no self worth. And lose to one of the worst franchises in the league. Great start and shame on all those fans that showed up. Let them kick you in the face and you just take it.

Go Dores, Titans! Go Nashville a great place to live!

By: joe41 on 1/20/13 at 10:55

Nashville was outhustled for the most part. You can't lose winnable games in a short season!


By: Pelvis on 1/20/13 at 11:31

You know what 4gold? Get bent. I've read your comments since this lockout started. Yes, it sucks they had a lockout. However, it didn't effect me in any way other than not watching games when I'm used to watching them. In fact, the lockout saved me money. The Preds have been great to the STH's through all of this and they continue to find ways to kiss our butts. Why are you so upset that you've moved on from just hating the players and team to now hating the fans? We have no self worth because we still like hockey after a lockout that effected us personally in no way whatsoever? With all due respect, Go f*** yourself. Sport is ENTERTAINMENT, entertainers get PAID in this country. Players and owners protecting their interests, big frigging deal. The NBA lost half a season recently, and the NFL almost lost their season recently. BOTH because of CBA negotiations. It's ok to be upset, hell it's fine to hold a grudge over the lockout. That's why i haven't said anything to you before now. Don't go attacking us over something we had nothing to do with.

There was no arena in the nhl last night under 97% capacity. Per the NHL network.

On to the game. No regular training camp, no preseason. ...hmm odd they seemed sloppy at times! And oh we've NEVER lost to a team we should have beat before. Nope, first time in franchise history I think.

In closing I'll say I've seen your comments that you're done with hockey. You even removed the Preds from your signature, fine by me. You're done with hockey, acknowledgement, that's step one. Step two would be sticking to your words and beliefs and not commenting on every hockey story on this site. From where I sit you're not done with hockey. You come across like some child that's pissed at a parent. You lash out, say you dont love them anymore, but for some reason you can't actually let them go. Maybe you still love hockey, but you're confused from getting your feelings hurt by the lockout so you lash out. Or maybe you're a hypocrite, becuase when I'M done with something or someone, they get none of my time. Not even the 10 minutes it take to comment online.

You wanna talk self worth? You're done with hockey? Nut up and be be done with it. I see another comment from you on a new Preds story. I and everyone that reads it will know you're full of it. Done means done, i'm done but I still spend time on it. That's not being done with something.

By: HuckFockey on 1/20/13 at 1:35

I hope one day these overpaid tax draining idiots will leave our wonderful city. When they lose AGAIN this season, and all your poor drunken faces pour out of the arena, I will laugh! I hope the powers that be will see this for what it is, and end it. As my username says....

By: TITAN1 on 1/20/13 at 3:02

Well, from your screen name ^ you don't have any class so I didn't even read your post.

By: TITAN1 on 1/20/13 at 3:08

I have never yet been to a Preds game, but I love it they are a part of Nashville. I watched several on tv and and keep up with their games and hope to make a game some day. I am glad for the thousands who do attend the games. It doesn't have to be something I go to on a regular basis or money in my pocket to be glad something is here.

By: Rasputin72 on 1/20/13 at 4:34

HuckFockey.........I understand your sentiments quite well. Only the people in the Davidson county housing projects get the preferential treatment that the 7000 Davidson county ice hockey fans receive.

They do have the best hot dogs,peanuts and hamburgers of the Titans,Sounds,Commodores,Belmont,Lipscomb or the state fair.

Vanderbilt serves up the worst hotdog in the entire United States.

By: same story on 1/20/13 at 5:32

When are people here going to wake up this not a major sports area we take everything nobody wants and try to win the Stanley Cup go to the super Bowl and pay these guys way more than their worth how in the world can anybody look at this team's roster and compare it to the Red wings Or St Lois blues or Boston Most of the Best players this team ever had are playing on teams that went deep into the playoffs And the Titans i wish i had the money all those fans were just throwing down a wishing well 15 yrs for Preds and nothing and the Titans
i'm just waiting for the grocery sack heads to show just like they did in Houston everything at these games is over priced concessions all the way to the pro shop . When they brought the minor league team here from Huntsville that was getting your bang for your buck those guys are low pay and put their blood and sweat into every game they had two fights last nite that looked like two girls fighting no offence ladies i've seen women fight better than last nite Oh well who cares it's ypur hour and your hard earned dollars you can go to sportsplex and watch the 18 yr olds for free and see a better game!!