Predators tailor Blue Jackets in 5-2 decision

In Nashville, Juuse Saros made 42 saves to lead the Predators to a 5-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday.

“I’m feeling good,” Saros  said. “It’s a good start, two wins. But obviously there’s a lot of hockey to be played in a short time, so you just try to focus on getting better every day and every game. It’s a good start, and we’ve just got to keep building on this thing.”

Filip Forsberg and Luke Kunin each picked up their second goals of the season.

“It was a little bit up and down,” Nashville’s Colton Sissons said. “We gave up some pretty good looks coming our way but capitalized on our chances that we got offensively, which is always nice and it got us a huge win.”

Nick Foligno and Alexandre Texier were the Jackets’ strikers.

“We were right there, so I’m not sure what led us to get away from our style of play,” Columbus’ Cam Atkinson said. “They just capitalized on their opportunities. Forsberg comes right down and scores, but we get one right back. We’re right in it.”

After falling behind 1-0, Rocco Grimaldi put the game even at 1-1 for the Predators in the first period..

“In the games, we didn’t score first and we had to come from behind and wound up tying the game,” Predators head coach John Hynes said. “It was a little bit of adversity in both games, which I do like. When we wound up finding a way to score, it was later in the game. When you play in tight games like this, there’s great learning lessons from it, and I think they’re really good for this hockey team. How you have to play the game the right way and your decisions matter and every play matters.

“It’s not that you’re up and you can do whatever you want. When you’re in tight hockey games, you really have to be mentally tough, mentally focused. You have to continue to battle. You have to do the right things. You’ve got to have mental stamina and competitive stamina, and I think that’s what we’ve taken out of these games and something that we’ve got to continue to build off of.”

Nashville notched for four goals in the third period.

Luke Richardson gave the Preds a 3-2 lead in the third and Sissons put the game away with a strike for a 5-2 lead.Neither team scored on the power play with the Preds have three chances and the Blue Jackets, two.

Nashville took both games of the set to open the season with Columbus.

Elvis Merzlikins made 28 saves in the loss for the Blue Jackets.

“I’m looking at some of the encouraging stuff we did tonight,” Columbus head coach John Tortorella said. “We developed 25 scoring chances. Do we need to clean up some stuff? Sure. But I’m encouraged by a lot of different things with our hockey club tonight.”