Nashville (12-4-2) looks for its third win in six days over its hapless Central Division rival as the teams meet on Monday at Nationwide Arena.
Columbus (5-12-1) is coming off a tumultuous week, falling twice to the Predators as its losing streak reached a season-high five games. Wednesday's 5-4 home loss to Nashville came two days after Blue Jackets coach Gerard Gallant was fired, spoiling the debut of interim coach Gary Agnew.
The team's next two games under Agnew were no better, losing 3-0 to Colorado on Friday before falling 4-2 in Nashville the following night.
Penalties plagued the Blue Jackets in Saturday's loss, as Nashville went 3-for-10 on the power play. Jason Arnott scored two power-play goals 48 seconds apart in the second period to boost the Predators' lead to 4-0.
"When you keep getting into penalty trouble, you are going to get burned and we did," Columbus goaltender Pascal Leclaire said. "We have got to stop making excuses and find a way to win one."
While the Blue Jackets have a league-low 11 points, the Predators are tied atop the Central with Detroit.
The Predators have only one regulation loss in 14 games (11-1-2) since opening the season with three straight losses.
Nashville coach Barry Trotz was pleased with how his team bounced back after losing 7-6 to Minnesota in a shootout on Thursday.
"I thought we came out with really good energy and purpose," Trotz said.
Part of the energy was due to Arnott, in his first season with the Predators. He ended a seven-game goal-scoring drought on Saturday, and is second on the team with 16 points.
"When they brought me in here, they wanted me to expand my role a lot more," said the 13-year veteran center. "They wanted me to do more than just score goals."
Arnott has a nine-game point streak against Columbus, with five goals and 11 assists in that span.
Like Arnott, goaltender Tomas Vokoun has gotten the better of the Blue Jackets, winning three straight starts and six of seven against them. He made 28 saves in Saturday's win after stopping 29 shots to beat Columbus on Wednesday.
Trotz, though, knows Monday's meeting with the last-place Blue Jackets will not be easy.
"They are going back to their barn for the third game, and they will show us the best they have," Trotz said.
The Blue Jackets, though, have been outscored 17-7 during their five-game skid and have been shut out twice in that stretch. Columbus has scored the fewest goals in the league with 38.
Leclaire, who has given up 13 goals in his last three starts, is winless in six of seven appearances versus the Predators with a 4.63 goals-against average.
|Mar 10 '07||CBJ 1 at NSH 2||D. Legwand|
|Feb 25 '07||NSH 4 at CBJ 3 - SO||A. Radulov|
|Jan 18 '07||CBJ 0 at NSH 4||D. Legwand|
|Jan 13 '07||NSH 4 at CBJ 1||J. Smithson|
|Jan 12 '07||CBJ 0 at NSH 2||J. Arnott|
|Nov 20 '06||NSH 3 at CBJ 1||S. Nichol|
|Nov 18 '06||CBJ 2 at NSH 4||J. Arnott|
|Nov 15 '06||NSH 5 at CBJ 4||S. Nichol|