The post-Rick Nash Era in Columbus is off to a good start.
Derick Brassard scored in the sixth round of the shootout Saturday night to give the Blue Jackets a 3-2 victory at Nashville -- a place where they had won once in their past 20 visits since the start of the 2006-07 season.
Brassard beat goaltender Pekka Rinne to start the sixth round of the shootout, and Columbus goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky gave the Blue Jackets the extra point when he denied Chris Smith's attempt, disappointing a sellout crowd of 17,113. The game sold out in three days after tickets were put on sale.
"It's a great feeling to win here, especially when in the past we have struggled here, but what a great challenge for us to come here with some new faces already tonight all of our new guys made the difference," Brassard said of a team that features five new players.
It was the fifth season-opening victory in franchise history and the first since the Blue Jackets beat the Minnesota Wild to open the 2009-10 season.
"The guys should be real proud of the way that they played," Columbus coach Todd Richards said. "Tough building. Tough situation."
After finishing last in the overall standings in 2011-12, the Blue Jackets dealt Nash, who holds almost all of the franchise's offensive records, to the New York Rangers for three young players and a draft pick. One of those players, center Artem Anisimov, tied the game by beating Rinne at 12:05 of the second period. He also beat Rinne with a backhander in the second round of the shootout. David Legwand prolonged the tiebreaker by scoring in the third round for Nashville.
The Predators made few changes from last season, but coach Barry Trotz said the lack of a preseason was still a problem.
"We didn't have any exhibitions," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "I know it's going to be a roller coaster ride, and it sort of was today. You thought you got your group sorted back together and then you're going through spells of the other team has the pressure on. That's part of the 48-game season."
Martin Erat got the Predators off to a fast start by beating Bobrovsky with a wrist shot 39 seconds into the game. Another Columbus newcomer, Nick Foligno, tied it with a power-play tip-in at 16:08, but defenseman Ryan Ellis scored a power-play goal at 17:55 to put the Predators back in front.
Columbus tied it when Anisimov took a pass from Fedor Tyutin at the blue line and held off Nashville center Paul Gaustad before beating Rinne with a backhander.
Bobrovsky, who was acquired from the Philadelphia Flyers during the summer, stopped 32 shots. Rinne finished with 26 saves.
"We were able to overcome all the adversity we've had and anytime you do that, you're going to give yourself a good chance to win and we did that to night," Foligno said.
Nashville captain Shea Weber fought Columbus' Jared Boll in the second period after he felt Smith was checked too hard. It was his first fighting major since 2009-10.
"A little bit of timing was off, and guys on both sides were swinging away and not manning up I guess you can say, maybe used to summer hockey a little bit," Weber said. "But that will come and, and in a hurry I think it's going to get a lot better.
Material from wire services and team media was used in this report.
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