This is Nikitin's fourth season in the NHL and his third with the Blue Jackets. It was his 12th career goal in 156 games.
The teams combined to get off a modest 42 shots and Columbus had a 1-0 lead through two periods thanks to a goal from Nick Foligno 9:21 into the contest. Joe Colborne tied it early in the third.
Backup goaltender Reto Berra took the loss while facing only 18 shots. Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 23-of-24 attempts.