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Blue Jackets hope to keep streak alive

by Eric Goodman

PREDATORS (11-12-6) at BLUE JACKETS (11-12-6)


Last 10: Nashville 3-6-1; Columbus 6-0-4

Season series: This is the second of five meetings between these clubs. The Blue Jackets won 1-0 in a shootout at Nashville on Jan. 19. The Predators will try to make it four wins in a row at Nationwide Arena.

Big story: The Blue Jackets seek to continue their franchise-record point streak as they try to make it 11 straight games without a regulation loss (6-0-4). The Predators have lost three straight and are tied with the Blue Jackets for 11th place in the Western Conference as of Monday. Nashville also will try to snap a three-game road losing streak Tuesday.

Team Scope:

Predators: Nashville wraps up a five-game road trip in Columbus and can use a return home to recharge the batteries. The team started with a convincing 4-0 victory at Dallas on March 12, but then was outscored 16-9 in three straight losses. Goalie Pekka Rinne surrendered nine goals on 35 shots in those three losses and was pulled by coach Barry Trotz in two of those games.

"We're not finding the way to win games right now," Nashville captain Shea Weber said following his team's 3-2 loss to the Edmonton Oilers on Sunday. "We're giving games away. We are making mistakes. It's hard to comprehend right now. We need to get things back on track."

Blue Jackets: Despite playing some of the best hockey in the franchise's 13-year history, Columbus has not yet moved out of the Central Division basement. A win against Nashville, though, would allow the Blue Jackets to inch up in the standings. If Columbus does happen to make the playoffs for just the second time in franchise history, they can thank goalie Sergei Bobrovsky. The young Russian earned the NHL's Third Star of the Week on Monday after posting a 0.62 goals-against average and .983 save percentage in three starts from Mar. 11-17.

"This is fun, to be on a roll like this, to see the team sacrifice to do things we're doing," forward R.J. Umberger told following a 1-0 shootout win against the Phoenix Coyotes on Saturday.

Who's hot: Weber has two goals and six assists in the previous seven games for the Predators. ... For Columbus, Bobrovsky has helped the team earn at least a point in his previous nine games (6-0-3). He has a 1.22 GAA and .961 save percentage in that span.

Injury report: Predators forward Colin Wilson (upper body) hasn't played since March 9. Forward Patric Hornqvist (upper body) and defenseman Hal Gill (lower body) are out. Center Paul Gaustad (upper body) was placed on injured reserve Tuesday. ... Blue Jackets defenseman John Moore (upper body) returned to the lineup Saturday. Forward Derek McKenzie remains day-to-day with an upper-body injury. Forward Derek Dorsett (collarbone) and defensemen James Wisniewski (foot) are on IR.

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