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|The Columbus Blue Jackets rallied from a three-goal deficit to beat Detroit in overtime and move within a point of clinching a playoff spot with two games left.
Artemi Panarin put back his own rebound late in the game to tie it , setting up Pierre-Luc Dubois‘ shot from the slot 2:55 into the extra period for a 5-4 win over the Red Wings before a raucous sellout crowd Tuesday night.
Columbus is one point or a loss by Florida shy of clinching at least a wild-card spot. The Panthers beat Nashville 2-1 on Tuesday night.
”I think it says a lot when you’re able to come back like that and keep playing,” Dubois said after overcoming a 4-1 deficit. ”I think we (hit) five or six posts in the first two periods. We’re really confident now, and we want to keep it going.”
The Blue Jackets are trying to get to the playoffs in consecutive years for the first time in franchise history, and for most of the game it looked as if Detroit would put a crimp in their plans.
”It’s a resilient group that we have, and we’re never out of the fight,” said forward Cam Atkinson, who scored twice for Columbus.
Sonny Milano also had a goal for the Blue Jackets , who have won 13 of 15. Sergei Bobrovsky had 23 saves. Seth Jones had three assists, and Panarin added two, claiming the Columbus franchise single-season points record with 80. Rick Nash had 79 in 2008-09.
Jimmy Howard had 36 saves and Tyler Bertuzzi had two goals for the Red Wings, who ended a three-game winning streak. Gustav Nyquist had a goal and an assist, Darren Helm also scored and Henrik Zetterberg had three assists for Detroit.
Bertuzzi put the Red Wings up four minutes into the game when he redirected Zetterberg’s shot from the left corner. Atkinson tied it on a power play a few minutes later when he waited next to the net and stuffed in a pass from Jones.
Detroit went up 2-1 later in the period when Bobrovsky and defenseman Jones got tangled up in front of the goal and a bouncing shot from Helm went into the net off Jones. Bertuzzi got his second of the evening late in the period on a power play, beating Bobrovsky on a rush.
Nyquist gave Detroit a three-goal edge on a power play just 31 seconds into the second period.
Atkinson pulled it to 4-2 later in the period on a power play when he scored from the right circle as Alexander Wennberg screened out Howard. Detroit wanted goalie interference but didn’t the call. Milano poked in a loose puck from the doorstep to make it 4-3 midway through the third, and then Panarin tied it with 2:16 left in regulation.
”They got a couple there and you could see the crowd got them into it ,” Bertuzzi said. ”They gained momentum from that, and we just got away from what we were doing right.”
NOTES: Columbus D Zach Werenski left the ice in the second period after taking a puck to the back of the head blocking a shot from Andreas Athanasiou. He came back later in the period. … Columbus F Alex Broadhurst made his NHL debut. He went to the penalty box in the first period for high-sticking, which led to a Detroit’s third goal. … Detroit C Dylan Larkin has six points in the past three games. … Dubois has seven points in the last four games. … Atkinson has seven goals and five assists in an eight-game point streak.
Detroit: Hosts Montreal on Thursday night.
Columbus: Hosts Pittsburgh on Thursday night.
P.K. Subban didn’t get heckled as long and as loud as he normally does from Winnipeg fans on Thursday.
He and the rest of Nashville’s defenseman did enough to finally quiet the Jets on the ice, too.
Pekka Rinne made 32 saves, Subban and Ryan Hartman scored and the Predators stifled Winnipeg’s high-powered offense to win 2-1 and even their second-round series through four games.
Patrik Laine scored off a faceoff in the final minute, but Nashville’s Nick Bonino won two key faceoffs after that to end it.
”That was an amazing team effort,” Rinne said. ”We played a really solid game throughout.”
Game 5 will be Saturday in Nashville , with Game 6 set for Winnipeg on Monday. Game 7, if necessary, would be in Nashville next Thursday.
Connor Hellebuyck stopped 27 shots, but Nashville snapped Winnipeg’s 13-game home winning streak, which dated to March 2.
Rinne allowed five goals amid a series of defensive miscues in a 7-4 Game 3 defeat after Winnipeg totaled eight goals over the first two games. Rinne rebounded impressively behind a Nashville team that was much sharper in its own end.
”I think last game, the details are kind of what cost us,” Subban said. ”This game , we paid attention to all of them for a full 60 (minutes).”
The Predators led 1-0 after the first period and stretched their lead with 5:24 left in the second when Subban blasted a one-timer on Nashville’s first power play.
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Booed by the thunderous white-clad crowd every time he’s touched the puck the last two games, Subban seemed to feed off the noise. It was Subban’s third goal of the series after being held without one in the first round.
”The biggest thing is we had full commitment through our lineup to play defense,” Subban said. ”In our zone when bounces didn’t go our way, we worked the puck out.”
The Jets found far less space in the neutral zone, but also saw a couple of golden opportunities bounce over their sticks.
Winnipeg had a couple of great chances to tie it earlier in the period. Kyle Connor missed on a pass from Bryan Little in the slot on a power play, and Mark Scheifele let the puck skip over his stick on a 2-on-1 with Blake Wheeler moments before Subban silenced the crowd with his goal.
Laine scored on a 6-on-4 with 50.2 seconds left in the third – his third of the playoffs and first of the series – but the Predators held on from there to wrestle back home-ice advantage.
”They had five guys behind the red line and we were a little stubborn – didn’t want to make them turn around and bring the puck out,” Wheeler said. ”They pounced on a loose puck and we chased the game.”
Nikolaj Ehlers was back on the Jets’ top line alongside Scheifele and Wheeler after switching spots with Connor following Tuesday’s disastrous opening 20 minutes when Winnipeg fell behind 3-0. Connor once again skated with Laine and Paul Stastny.
Nashville opened the scoring with 2:40 left in the first when Hartman scored his second of the playoffs off a scramble in front. An attempted clear by Winnipeg’s Ben Chiarot in front instead went off defense partner Tyler Myers and directly to Hartman , who beat Hellebuyck up high.
The teams traded chances earlier in the period, with Hellebuyck stopping Roman Josi and Scott Hartnell on 2-on-1 breaks, while the butt end of Rinne’s stick stopped Josh Morrisey’s backhand chance along the ice at the other end.
”So lucky,” Rinne said. ”I mean, I’ll take that any day. But it was so lucky. I wish I could say I did that on purpose.”
Notes: The Jets inserted winger Joel Armia into the lineup after he missed the first three games of the series with an upper-body injury. Rookie forward Jack Roslovic was a healthy scratch. … Hartnell stepped in for Kevin Fiala, who scored in double overtime for Nashville in Game 2. The Predators also dressed defenseman Yannick Weber in place of Alexei Emelin.