Predators aim to rebound at home vs. Blue Jackets

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The Columbus Blue Jackets have the youngest lineup in the National Hockey League.

With that, come some growing pains.

Despite five victories in their past seven games, the Blue Jackets enter Tuesday night’s game in Nashville with a few things to tighten up.

Such as their defense, after allowing a season-high in goals in a 6-3 loss Saturday in St. Louis.

“I think overall we didn’t play good enough to win,” said defenseman Adam Boqvist, who scored two goals for the Blue Jackets. “We turned the puck over too much. I think (Joonas Korpisalo) did some big saves for us in the second as well, but if we are going to win against St. Louis, we have to play better overall for 60 minutes.

“It’s not good enough. I think this was one of the worst games of the year for us.”

Columbus held a 1-0 lead after the first period before allowing three straight goals in the second.

“For about 14 minutes there, we just couldn’t stop anything,” Blue Jackets coach Brad Larsen said. “We couldn’t gather ourselves. …

“Good teams do that. … It’s new for some guys for sure. You see the games where it got away from us like the Rangers, you talk about Vegas, you talk about a game like this, there’s some experienced teams there, some experienced guys, and they run with that momentum for a while. We have to learn how to stop it.”

For defenseman Zach Werenski, the key is to keep things simple.

“Not trying to make plays really, just get pucks out, get pucks in, get on our forecheck,” he said. “It seems like whenever another team has momentum and we get to the other team’s blue line, we’re trying to make plays or we’re turning pucks over. We’re not keeping it simple, and they just keep coming and coming.

“There’s never an easy way to get out of that. I think moving forward when other teams come in like that, we just have to keep the game simple, get pucks out, get them in, get on our forecheck and play a simple hockey game.”

The Predators are also coming off a tough loss, 6-2 Saturday at Colorado.

“We couldn’t find a way to win the game, and we’ve got to find a way to be better and get more wins,” Predators forward Mikael Granlund said. “We’re going win, lose, win, lose, and we want to be better than that.”

The Predators fell behind 2-0 in the first period Saturday and never caught up.

They’ll look to do better on their three-game homestand that begins with the Blue Jackets.

“They scored two and got up early on the power plays,” Predators coach John Hynes said. “They got a lot of momentum from that. I thought we did have some responses in the game, we had some really good looks and some pushes of the play that we weren’t able to capitalize and get a key goal at a key time.”

Matt Duchene scored for the Predators, giving him 13 goals in 21 games this season to match the total he had in 66 games in 2019-20, the last full NHL season.

–Field Level Media

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