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Nashville
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SO
29 SOG
31 SOG
1st2nd3rdOTsoT
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game recap

Predators top Blue Jackets 4-3 in shootout

Tuesday, 08.16.2011 / 5:07 AM

NHL.com

Steve Sullivan and the Nashville Predators have made life miserable for the Blue Jackets since they entered the NHL 10 years ago. They did it again on Wednesday night.

Sullivan, who has 43 points in 44 career games against Columbus, didn't hit the scoresheet during regulation or overtime, but he scored the only goal of the shootout as the visiting Predators beat the Jackets 4-3 at Nationwide Arena.

Sullivan, shooting second, beat Steve Mason while Pekka Rinne followed a 28-save performance by making stops on Jakub Voracek, Rick Nash and Antoine Vermette in the shootout.

"I personally like the shootouts," said Rinne, whose team leads the NHL with four wins in six shootouts this season. "We prepare for the shootouts pretty well and we practice them. It's a big part of the game. One point one way or the other, anytime you go into the shootout you want to get that extra point."

Sullivan said he ad-libbed on the shootout winner, on which he deked Mason to the ice at the left of the goalmouth before calmly tapping the puck into the vacant net.

"It looked better on film than how it went through in my mind," he said. "There was a little bit of panic, I'm not going to lie, when I got to the hash marks and the puck was bouncing a little. The play I had designed in my head, that's not what developed."

The Predators improved to 41-13-4-1 all-time against the Blue Jackets -- including 24-4-2 since 2006-07.

Colin Wilson, Sergei Kostitsyn and Kevin Klein scored goals and Martin Erat had two assists for the Predators. Erat now has 40 points in his last 40 games against Columbus.

Vermette scored twice and Kris Russell once for Columbus, which overcame a 2-1 deficit at the start of the third period on goals by Russell and Vermette, only to allow a goal by Klein with 8:22 remaining to force OT.

"We've been pretty good this year when we've gotten leads late in games," rookie Columbus coach Scott Arniel said. "This one shouldn't have happened."

Russell tied the game with a hard wrister from the high slot 2:01 into the third period.

After an Erat blast caught the junction of the post and crossbar but stayed out, the Blue Jackets took a 3-2 lead at 10:01 when Nash made a great individual effort and Vermette collected his second garbage goal. Nash went strong to the net, muscling his way between two defenders to get off a point-blank shot on Rinne. The goalie got a piece of it, but Vermette was there to punch the puck into the net.

Nashville got even on what appeared to be an innocent shot. Klein collected the puck near the blue line, skated laterally for an instant and then fired a hard, low shot that Mason lost in the traffic in front of the net.

"Marty put one off the crossbar and they come down and score a minute later," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "It's one of those things where you can get real deflated. But our team's got really good resiliency. We've got real good character and we battled."

Wilson started the scoring at 17:02 when he batted a seeing-eye passout by Cal O'Reilly past Mason from just in front of the crease.

With Nashville up 1-0 in the second and each team a man down, Columbus pulled even when R.J. Umberger's cross-ice pass led to Jan Hejda's rush to the net. Rinne stopped Hejda's shot but the rebound dropped into the slot where Vermette had an almost-empty net in front of him.

The assist extended Umberger's points streak to a franchise-record 10 games. Umberger has 3 goals and 10 assists during the streak.

Erat made the play on the go-ahead goal. He was skating along the left boards, away from the goal line, when he wristed a hard pass that was tipped into the net by an onrushing Kostitsyn at 16:02 for his third of the season.

In the end, the Blue Jackets had to be content with one point while regretting the one that got away.

"You definitely want to take the point out of their hands," Vermette said. "Those are huge points and we could have had one more tonight."

Material from team media and wire services was used in this report

scoring summary
1st Period
17:02
NSH
Colin Wilson (4) Wrist shot - ASST: Cal O'Reilly (10), Martin Erat (5)
1 - 0 NSH
2nd Period
07:11
CBJ
Antoine Vermette (6) Wrist shot - ASST: Jan Hejda (3), RJ Umberger (10)
1 - 1 Tie
16:29
NSH
Sergei Kostitsyn (3) Deflected shot - ASST: Martin Erat (6), Marcel Goc (6)
2 - 1 NSH
3rd Period
02:01
CBJ
Kris Russell (1) Slapshot - ASST: Antoine Vermette (7), Steve Mason (1)
2 - 2 Tie
10:01
CBJ
Antoine Vermette (7) Wrist shot - ASST: Rick Nash (5), RJ Umberger (11)
3 - 2 CBJ
11:38
NSH
Kevin Klein (2) Slapshot - ASST: NONE
3 - 3 Tie
OT Period
NONE
Shootout
RNDNSHCBJTOTAL
1C. O'Reilly
J. Voracek
0 - 0
2S. Sullivan
R. Nash
1 - 0
3M. Erat
A. Vermette
1 - 0
penalty summary
1st Period
05:48
CBJ
Derick Brassard  Tripping against  Cal O'Reilly
13:41
NSH
Ryan Suter  Holding against  Jakub Voracek
14:54
CBJ
Anton Stralman  Tripping against  Nick Spaling
2nd Period
03:52
CBJ
Ethan Moreau  Tripping against  Sergei Kostitsyn
06:22
NSH
Jerred Smithson  Hi-sticking against  Derek Dorsett
06:42
CBJ
Anton Stralman  Hooking against  Nick Spaling
11:56
CBJ
Derick Brassard  Hooking against  Jordin Tootoo
19:59
NSH
Colin Wilson  Too many men/ice - bench
3rd Period
12:19
NSH
Cal O'Reilly  Hi-sticking against  Derek MacKenzie
OT Period
NONE
goalie stats
Pekka Rinne
SA: 31TOI: 64:53
Saves: 28EV: 22 - 25
PIM: 0PP: 5 - 5
SV%: .903SH: 1 - 1
Steve Mason
SA: 29TOI: 65:00
Saves: 26EV: 24 - 27
PIM: 0PP: 2 - 2
SV%: .897SH: 0 - 0