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Blue Jackets and Predators Clash in Central Division Matchup

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets have added the fourth coach in the franchise's five-year history in Gary Agnew, hired on an interim basis to replace Gerard Gallant on Tuesday.

The Jackets are hoping the shake up at the top results in the club finishing on top in more games this season.

Agnew will make his debut as an NHL coach tonight, as the Jackets host the Nashville Predators tonight at 7 p.m. at Nationwide Arena. Coverage on FSN Ohio begins at 6:30 p.m. with Ice Breaker.

The Jackets started the season going 2-0-1, earning five out of a possible six standings points. Since that three-game stretch to start the season, Columbus has gone 3-9-0, earning six-of-24 standings points. The club currently sits in fifth place in the Central Division.

As a result, Gallant was relieved of his duties on Monday with Agnew taking over on an interim basis on Tuesday. The main culprit has been the offense, as Columbus has scored 33 goals and has been shut out four times this season.

Three players, David Vyborny, Rick Nash and Nikolai Zherdev are tied for the team lead with four goals apiece. Vyborny leads the team with 10 assists and 14 points.

Pascal Leclaire has posted a 5-7-1 mark, with a 3.19 GAA, getting the bulk of the minutes in the Columbus net.

As for Nashville (10-4-1), the club has won six of their last seven games after defeating Colorado, 1-0, on Saturday. The Predators are second in the Central Division, 10 points ahead of the Blue Jackets.

Scott Hartnell, Jason Arnott and Steve Sullivan lead the club with five goals each, as goaltending has been a key to the Predators' success this season. Seven of their 10 wins have come by one goal, with Tomas Vokoun posting a 7-3-1 with a 2.81 GAA, and Chris Mason going 3-1-0 with a 1.97 GAA.

The Jackets and Predators met eight times in 2005-06 with Columbus posting a 3-5-0 mark in the season series. The Jackets are 7-6-1 all-time at Nationwide Arena, where the club went 2-2-0 last year. One of the most exciting wins from last season was the first time the two clubs met, with Columbus' Adam Foote scoring an overtime shorthanded game winner to give Columbus a 3-2 win on Oct. 26.

As always, Huntington Green Seats will be available for tonight's game and every game during the 2006-07 season. The Huntington Green Seats are 250 seats that are priced at $10 for every home game this season and are available only at the Nationwide Arena Ticket Office, two hours prior to game time. For tonight's game each person may purchase a maximum of four seats.

Click here to purchase tickets now.

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