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Blue Jackets fall in season opener 3-1 to Predators

Boone Jenner notched a goal for Columbus in the first period.
Credit: AP
Nashville Predators center Luke Kunin, left, celebrates after scoring a goal against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the second period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Filip Forsberg scored the tiebreaking goal at 5:48 of the third period to lead the Nashville Predators over the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 in their season opener Thursday night.

Luke Kunin and Calle Jarnkrok also scored for the Predators, who have won 11 of their last 14 home openers. Juuse Saros made 29 saves.

Boone Jenner had the goal for Columbus.

Early in the third, Nashville won a defensive-zone faceoff and Forsberg skated into the Columbus zone on the left side. From the left faceoff dot, he snapped a wrist shot by goalie Joonas Korpisalo on the short side.

Korpisalo finished with 32 saves.

Jenner scored the first goal at 9:24 of the opening period on a breakaway.

Former Predator Seth Jones cleared the puck from behind the Columbus net off the left half boards. Near center ice, the puck hopped over the stick of Nashville defenseman Dante Fabbro, sending Jenner in all alone on Saros. Jenner beat Saros high to the blocker side.

In his first game with the Predators, Kunin tied it at 13:09 of the second.

Kunin skated down the right side into the Columbus zone on a 2-on-1. Blue Jackets defenseman Michael Del Zotto sild to take away the passing lane, so Kunin fired a wrist shot high to Korpisalo’s far side.

Acquired from Minnesota in an Oct. 7 trade, Kunin missed the first couple of days of Nashville’s abbreviated training camp while working on a new contract with the Predators. The sides agreed to a two-year, $4.6 million deal last Wednesday.

Jarnkrok scored an empty-net goal with 1:33 remaining.

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