Blue Jackets 3, Predators 1: Defenseman Jack Johnson snapped a tie with 4:48 remaining as host Columbus scored three times in the third period to briefly keep its playoff hopes alive.
Brandon Dubinsky and Cam Atkinson each recorded a goal and an assist and Sergei Bobrovsky made 19 saves for the Blue Jackets, who won eight of their final nine games in the regular season. Columbus still missed out on the second postseason appearance in franchise history, however, as Minnesota defeated Colorado minutes later to claim the eighth and final spot in the Western Conference.
Just over five minutes after the Blue Jackets forged a tie, Johnson attempted to make a pass into the crease from below the end line. The puck never made it to its intended receiver as Nashville defenseman Shea Weber appeared to inadvertently backhand it past goaltender Chris Mason, giving Columbus a 2-1 edge. Atkinson sealed the victory with an empty-net goal in the final minute.
Weber scored the lone goal and Chris Mason stopped 44 shots for the Predators, who went 1-9-1 over their final 11 contests.
Weber snapped a scoreless tie at 8:29 of the second period as he beat Bobrovsky high to the glove side with a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot. The goal held up until midway through the third, when Dubinsky buried a backhander from the doorstep during a power play for just his second tally of the season.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Bobrovsky was credited with five saves, but he even may have made a few more during a 12-second span midway through the first period. The netminder made the majority of the stops after losing his stick during a mad scramble in front. ... The Blue Jackets won four of their five meetings with their Central Division rival. ... Columbus went 12-1-3 over its final 16 home games, while the Predators dropped their final 10 road contests.