Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Jack Johnson scored the game-winner as part of a three-goal third period that helped the Columbus Blue Jackets keep their playoff hopes alive with a 3-1 victory over the Nashville Predators on Saturday at Nationwide Arena.
Brandon Dubinsky and Cam Atkinson each added a goal and an assist in the flurry, while Sergei Bobrovsky stopped 19 shots for the Blue Jackets (24-17-7), who vaulted into the eighth spot in the Western Conference with 55 points.
Columbus must hope the Minnesota Wild fall to the Colorado Avalanche. The Wild currently have 53 points, but a victory over the Avs would pull them even with the Blue Jackets and give them the final playoff spot, as they hold the tiebreaker over Columbus.
Shea Weber netted the lone Nashville goal, while Chris Mason made 44 saves in defeat for the Preds, who wrapped up their season at 16-23-9 and will miss the playoffs for just the second time in nine seasons.