Predators lose to Blue Jackets, fail to clinch berth in Central


COLUMBUS — The Nashville Predators failed to clinch a Stanley Cup Playoff berth, losing 4-2 to the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena on Wednesday.

The Predators (29-23-2) would have clinched with a victory. They are four points ahead of the Dallas Stars for the fourth and final berth in the eight-team Discover Central Division. Tanner Jeannot and Calle Jarnkrok scored, and Juuse Saros made 23 saves for Nashville.

Oliver Bjorkstrand had two goals and an assist, and Elvis Merzlikins made 30 saves for the Blue Jackets (17-25-12), who won for the second time in 13 games.

Mikhail Grigorenko put Columbus ahead 3-2 at 13:50 of the third period, and Bjorkstrand scored into an empty net with one second left for the 4-2 final.

Jeannot put Nashville ahead 1-0 at 3:21 of the first period on a wraparound, scoring between Merzlikins’ pads and the right post. 

Jack Roslovic tied it 1-1 with a power-play goal at 2:08 of the second period. His 11th goal of the season was his 100th NHL point (37 goals, 63 assists) in 226 games.

With the primary assist, Cam Atkinson got his 400th point (212 goals, 188 assists) in his 625th NHL game.

Jarnkrok took advantage of a Patrik Laine turnover to score on a 2-on-0 for a 2-1 Nashville lead at 17:53.

Bjorkstrand tied it 2-2 at 19:09. 

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