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Predators try to spoil Blue Jackets' playoff run

Saturday, 04.27.2013 / 12:13 PM

PREDATORS (15-23-7) at BLUE JACKETS (26-17-2)

TV: FS-TN, FS-O

Last 10: Nashville 3-4-3, Columbus 7-3-0

Season series: This is the fifth and final game between the Nashville Predators and the Columbus Blue Jackets this season. So far this season the Blue Jackets boast a three game advantage over the Predators including a 3-1 victory in their last meeting on April 4.

Big Story: The Blue Jackets' playoff hopes are on the line as they end their season against the Predators at Nationwide Arena. Even a victory is no guarantee of a playoff berth -- they would need either Minnesota or Detroit to lose. Nashville has won three of its last four in Columbus and is 20-12-3 all-time in Ohio.

Team Scope:

Predators: The season can't end fast enough for the Predators, who've dropped nine of their past 10 games.

Mike Fisher returned to the Predators' lineup on Thursday after missing nine of 11 games and notched the first goal in a 5-2 loss to the Detroit Red Wings. It was Nashville's ninth consecutive road loss; the Predators are 1-11-4 in their last 16 games away from Music City.

"It's been a rough patch," captain Shea Weber said.

Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets refused to go away and arrive at their season finale with a chance to make the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history. They completed a 5-1-0 road trip Thursday night by beating the Dallas Stars 3-1, then got some help on Friday when the Edmonton Oilers routed the Minnesota Wild 6-1. The Blue Jackets and Wild have 53 points; seventh-place Detroit has 54.

"Our players have earned this opportunity," Blue Jackets coach Todd Richards said. "Granted, we still need some help, but it's going to make for a great environment on Saturday in our building."

Who's hot: Weber has 26 points in his past 34 games and he leads the team in shots (122) … Blue Jackets' center Brandon Dubinsky has four points in as many games including a pair of assists in his last outing. Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky is 17-5-3 in his past 25 games with a 1.62 goals-against average

Injury report: Nashville forwards Brandon Yip (lower body) and Matt Halischuk (shoulder) are both expected to miss Saturday's contest … For Columbus defenseman Nikita Nikitin (lower body) and center Artem Anisimov (concussion) are questionable.

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