After an impressive victory to move back atop the Western Conference, the Nashville Predators look to avoid a letdown against a team they've dominated this season.
With Peter Forsberg finally contributing on offense, the Predators look to win their seventh straight game over the lowly Columbus Blue Jackets on Sunday night.
Forsberg scored at 2:11 of overtime off a pass from Paul Kariya for his first goal with Nashville (41-18-4) in its 4-3 victory over Detroit on Saturday.
"It was an unbelievable pass by Paul," said Forsberg, who also had an first-period assist. "I thought we battled. It was great to score my first goal and get my first points. Our line will play better and better."
Forsberg was scoreless in his first three games as a Predator since being acquired from Philadelphia on Feb. 15. With the win, the Predators moved just ahead of the Red Wings for first place in the West. Nashville and Detroit each have 86 points, but the Predators have two more victories.
"It couldn't be better," said Forsberg, a two-time Stanley Cup winner. "We beat Detroit at home, a team we are battling for first place. The team played great. We have to keep the momentum going."
Forsberg had a goal and an assist in his only game against the Blue Jackets this season while with the Flyers, and he will try to help Nashville end its season-high four-game road losing streak against a team it's yet to lost to this season. The Predators have outscored Columbus 22-8 in their six meetings, including 10-1 in their last three victories. Nashville also is 17-3-2 against Columbus since Feb. 8, 2003.
Kariya, who snapped a season-high 10-game goal-scoring drought on Saturday, has three goals and four assists against Columbus this season. In 14 games versus the Blue Jackets since joining Nashville after the NHL lockout, Kariya has six goals and 14 assists.
Goaltender Tomas Vokoun made 41 saves in his fourth straight start for the Predators, but has not started on consecutive days since Nov. 22-23. Vokoun is 4-0-0 with a 1.75 goals-against average and a shutout against the Blue Jackets this season, while Chris Mason is 2-0-0 with a 0.50 GAA and a shutout.
Columbus (24-32-6), which is looking to win consecutive games for the first time this month, snapped a three-game slide after rallying for a 3-2 victory over the New York Rangers on Saturday.
Anders Eriksson scored late in the first period and Jason Chimera and Rick Nash added short-handed goals in the second as the Blue Jackets shook off an early 2-0 deficit to win for the first time in Madison Square Garden. Still, Columbus is 3-6-1 in February and has the fourth-fewest points in the league.
"It shows a lot to our team that we could stick around in one of the toughest buildings in the league, to steal two points," said Nash, who has just 17 goals after posting 31 in just 54 games last season.
Rookie goalie Fredrik Norrena made 40 saves against the Rangers to improve to 6-2-1 with a 2.37 GAA since Jan. 19. He's 0-3-0 with a 3.33 GAA versus the Predators this season. Ty Conklin, who's on the roster in place of the injured Pascal Leclaire, made 22 saves in a 4-0 loss to Nashville on Jan. 18.
-- Associated Press