Blue Jackets defenseman Adam Foote scored the winning goal 36 seconds into OT to give the Jackets (3-6) a 3-2 victory and hand previously unbeaten Nashville (8-1) their first loss of the year. It looked as if the Jackets were up to their old ways as they gave up the tying goal with only 19 seconds left in the third period to give Nashville the tie score. But, unlike the past when Columbus would fold up, this time they showed the grit and glory that the team has been talking about all season to earn the hard fought victory."We played desperate hockey tonight. We are a club that had been struggling and we needed the win," said Jackets head coach Gerard Gallant. "For us to beat them in our building tonight, we needed all our guys to play hard.
We needed to win for us. We didn't care if they were 15-0, 2-0, 2-10, we needed a win for us tonight.".Columbus scored first at 5:28 in the second period off of a Trevor Letowski backhand. Luke Richardson saw Tyler Wright in the behind the net. Wright blocked off a check and was able to get the puck to Letowski, who proceeded to slam the puck home to give the Jackets a 1-0 lead.
"We had the puck pinned in and I went into a bit of a cycle," said Letowski on his third goal of the season. "The puck just happened to be there. It was a pretty easy finish.".Free agent signee Paul Kariya scored five minutes later to give Nashville the 1-1 tie.At 16:33 in the third period, center Mark Hartigan scored a power play goal to put the Jackets up 2-1.
He was assisted on the goal by Manny Malholtra and Brian Berard. His goal pumped up his team and the crowd of 15,110. "You saw my reaction," he said. "I felt it was a pretty big goal to score the go-ahead goal with three minutes left against a team that's 8-0. To do something like that for the team right now, it felt pretty good.
".Just as the fans were getting their coats on and heading for the door, Adam Hall scored a power play goal for Nashville with just 19 seconds left in the contest to give the Predators a 2-2 tie. Blue Jackets fans have been here before?time to take off your coat and watch the inevitable.
Things looked bleak for the Jackets in the beginning of OT when David Vyborny was whistled for hooking on a very questionable call. This gave Nashville the edge and they tried to capitalize on it until the puck found its way from Suchy to Foote.Foote headed up ice with Marchant on his wing.
As he slowed up and was deciding weather to pass or shoot, Nashville goalie Tomas Vokoun made a move towards Marchant's side and left a little hole that Foote's shot found."I wanted to give it to (Marchant) earlier, but the defenseman slid, so we when he slid, I tried to show pass, which caused the goalie to slide over. So I tried to sneak it in there and got lucky," Foote said.When Foote scored his goal, you thought the Jackets just won the Stanley Cup as all of the players rushed across the ice to celebrate the victory.
"He (Foote) had a burst into the zone and then I didn't even see where it went in. We just saw the red light come on. He looked like Sakic streaking up the wing," Letwoski said.Nashville's eight game unbeaten streak tied them for the second longest in NHL history and two games behind the 1993 Toronto Maple Leafs.
That year the Leafs started out the season with a 10-game winning streak."When certain things end you've got to get back on the horse and start all over again,'' said Predators coach Barry Trotz. "That's over with, that's a nice chapter. Let's do something now through the next 73 games. The next 73 games are as important as the first nine.
''.Martin Prusek, subbing for injured Marc Denis, played in his first game of the regular season for the Jackets recording 22 saves to earn his first victory of the year.Columbus out shot Nashville 34-24 and faces the Minnesota Wild at home on Friday before traveling to Minnesota for a game on Saturday..
Dave Weissman is publisher/editor/photographer/writer for Columbus Wired - Central Ohio's Premier Online Magazine. http://www.ColumbusWired.net or http://www.
By: Dave Weissman