Leclaire makes 15 saves; Popperle 23
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Strong Goaltending Leads Columbus To 2-0 Win Over Nashville
Leclaire makes 15 saves; Popperle 23

by Staff Writer / Columbus Blue Jackets
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -- Jason Chimera and Alexandre Picard scored first-period goals and Pascal Leclaire and Tomas Popperle combined to stop 38 shots in the Columbus Blue Jackets' 2-0 win over Nashville on Sunday night in the preseason opener for both teams.

Chimera and Picard scored in a 3:47 span midway through the first period, beating Nashville starter Chris Mason.

Chimera, streaking down the right wing, beat Mason with a backhand shot inside the near post midway through the first period.

On another counterattack, Picard worked a give-and-go with Alexander Svitov at the left circle past a Predators defenseman before sliding a low shot past Mason.

The Predators finished 0-for-12 on the power play.

The two-goal lead for Columbus was more than enough, as Leclaire started the game, earning 15 saves before being relieved by the rookie Popperle, who recorded 23.

"I am trying to do the same thing as I did last year." Leclaire said. "I want to learn and play well and work on my consistency. I think I can do that night-in and night-out, and I think that that is what No.1 guys do.

"That's my main focus for this year. I want to be in there as much as I can and I want to be the main guy here."

Columbus played without the injured Adam Foote, Rick Nash, Sergei Fedorov and recently signed Anson Carter. The Predators rested injured Paul Kariya, Steve Sullivan, Marek Zidlicky and Jason Arnott.

Leclaire makes 15 saves; Popperle 23
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