“It’s a round number. That’s why I think people talk about it, because it’s a round number,” Tortorella said. “I’ve been fortunate. I’ve been fortunate to be in the game and have been given many opportunities to stay in the game, a game I love.”
Boone Jenner scored twice, and Joonas Korpisalo made 32 saves for the Blue Jackets (25-15-3), who were without goalie Sergei Bobrovsky.
Pekka Rinne made 29 saves playing his 600th NHL game for the Predators (27-15-4), who extended their point streak to seven games (5-0-2).
Tortorella is the first United States-born coach among the 19 (six active) to win 600 games. He is 600-477-104 with 37 ties in 18 seasons with the Blue Jackets, Tampa Bay Lightning, New York Rangers and Vancouver Canucks.
“That’s a great testament to him,” Blue Jackets captain Nick Foligno said. “I don’t know if he’s been around a long time or he’s a good coach. I like to think he’s a good coach. That’s an unbelievable achievement. I’m proud we can be a part of it. I’m sure he’s looking for more.”
Predators coach Peter Laviolette could have tied Tortorella among American coaches with a win. He is 598-396-114 with 25 ties in 17 seasons for the Predators, Carolina Hurricanes, Philadelphia Flyers and New York Islanders.
Panarin scored his second power-play goal of the game after drawing a tripping penalty 14 seconds earlier on Victor Arvidsson. He scored from the left circle with Pierre-Luc Dubois setting a screen.
Panarin and Jenner scored 11 seconds apart in the third period to give the Blue Jackets a 3-1 lead before Arvidsson and Mattias Ekholm scored 38 seconds apart to make it 3-3.
Nashville defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-3 in overtime on Wednesday.
“In overtime it’s usually a 50-50 play,” Ekholm said. “We won one last night and lost tonight.”
Panarin made it 2-1 at 13:32 with the Blue Jackets’ first power-play goal in 26 attempts over the past 12 games. Jenner scored his second of the game for a 3-1 lead.
Arvidsson was at the crease to make it 3-2 at 15:07, and Ekholm scored off a pass from Colton Sissons on a 2-on-1 to make it 3-3.
“We were chasing the game,” Laviolette said. “The guys played hard. I don’t think it was the prettiest game for us, but they competed, kept working.
“It seemed like it got away from us at the end of the third there, but again, the guys kept pushing and battling.”
Jenner made it 1-0 at 6:26 of the first period. It was his first goal in 15 games, since Dec. 6 against the Philadelphia Flyers.
Nick Bonino tied it 1-1 at 4:31 of the third period, eight seconds after an interference penalty on Blue Jackets forward Josh Anderson expired.
Bobrovsky was not with the Blue Jackets after he was involved in an incident during or after the game at the Tampa Bay Lightning on Tuesday. Tortorella said there was no distraction because of it.
“We’ve been very honest about situations that have come our way,” he said. “I think that’s the best way to do it, so the players aren’t tiptoeing. Accept what’s happened in situations like that, and there will be more throughout the year.”
Foligno returned after missing four games because of a medical procedure and recovery period for his 5-year-old daughter Milana, who has a congenital heart condition. He had an assist on Jenner’s second goal.
They said it
“Real good comeback, big point for us, but personally disappointed in the result, that’s all.” — Predators goalie Pekka Rinne
“I haven’t started too many games lately, so that was a good game to get a win and help the team. I’m going day to day after that.” — Blue Jackets goalie Joonas Korpisalo
Need to know
The Blue Jackets are 12-0-0 on Thursday to tie the NHL record for longest streak on any day to start a season. The Detroit Red Wings opened the 2007-08 season with 12 straight wins on Wednesday. … Rinne is 328-178-69 in the NHL. … Ekholm has nine points (three goals, six assists) in a five-game point streak. … Predators forward Ryan Johansen had an assist and has eight points (two goals, six assists) in the past seven games. … Nashville backup goalie Juuse Saros was ill and Troy Grosenick was recalled from Milwaukee of the American Hockey League on an emergency basis. … Blue Jackets defenseman Zach Werenski had two assists and has nine points (four goals, five assists) in the past nine games. … Panarin has 13 points (six goals, seven assists) in the past nine games.
Predators: At the Carolina Hurricanes on Sunday (12:30 p.m. ET; FS-SE, FS-TN, NHL.TV)
Blue Jackets: At the Washington Capitals on Saturday (7 p.m. ET; ESPN+, NBCSWA, FS-O, NHL.TV)