Roman Josi’s two goals turned out to be bigger than Emil Bemstrom’s first career hat trick.
Josi scored his second goal of the game 3:24 into overtime to lead the visiting Nashville Predators past the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-3 on Monday.
The Predators appeared to be cruising to a much-needed win in their push toward the postseason. The visitors led 3-0 after 40 minutes before Emil Bemstrom took over the game, with his three third-period goals representing his first goals of the season.
Filip Forsberg and Ryan Johansen each had a goal and assist for the Predators (29-22-2, 60 points), and Ryan Ellis contributed two assists.
Juuse Saros, making his 11th straight start in net for the desperate Predators, turned away 29 of 32 shots to record his 20th win of the season. Nashville won for the fourth time in five games.
Elvis Merzlikins made 34 saves for Columbus.
The Predators are 18-6-1 since March 15, powering them to the fourth and final playoff position in the Central Division with four games remaining. They are four points ahead of the fifth-place Dallas Stars, who lost 5-4 in overtime to the Florida Panthers on Monday.
The Blue Jackets (16-25-12, 44 points) took their 11th loss in 12 games (1-7-4). They remain in the cellar of the Central Division, one point behind Detroit.
Nashville broke through nine minutes into the second period when Forsberg, while sliding to his backside, swung at a rebound from an Ellis shot and knocked it past Merzlikins for a 1-0 lead. Johansen doubled the lead on a power play 2 1/2 minutes later.
With 45 seconds left in the second, Josi unloaded a slapshot past a screened Merzlikins from just inside the blue line to make it 3-0.
Saros lost his shutout two minutes into the third when Bemstrom batted his own rebound out of mid-air and just under the crossbar. Referees went to video replay to confirm the goal.
Columbus used that goal to turn the momentum of the game, and it was Bemstrom again who fired a shot top shelf past Saros from the right circle with 12:34 left in the third, giving Bemstrom his first career two-goal game while cutting the deficit to 3-2.
With Columbus on the power play, Bemstrom finished the hat trick with 4:53 remaining in the third when he fired a shot past Saros from the same right circle spot as his second goal.
–Field Level Media