COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ Scott Walker cared more about the final score than his
Walker tied the Nashville franchise record for goals, leading the Predators
to a 6-4 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
``We're just trying to get points and win games now,'' Walker said after his
15th goal of the season gave him 81 with the Predators to tie Cliff Ronning.
``I just happened to get that goal. I didn't even know how many I had, but
Nashville's Wyatt Smith scored his first goal in more than a year. Kimmo
Timonen, Martin Erat and Vladimir Orszagh each had a goal and an assist, and
Marek Zidlicky and Andreas Johansson had three assists apiece.
``They got frustrated. Everyone could see that,'' Johansson said of the Blue
Jackets. ``That opened up a lot of different opportunities for us. We could
take a shot or pass _ they were running around and making it easy for us.''
Scott Hartnell also scored, and Zidlicky tied a career high with his three
It was the most goals scored by the Predators this season. They ran their
record to 13-0-0-1 when they score at least four times.
``It's the type of a game we're going to have to expect coming down the
stretch: hard battles, tough games, not much room to move out there,'' Walker
said. ``Especially with the teams that are going to be a factor.''
Trevor Letowski matched his career high with two goals and three points for
Columbus, and Geoff Sanderson and Tyler Wright added goals. Manny Malhotra had
a career-best three points on three assists.
Each team had 31 shots and scored on half of its six power-play attempts.
Columbus also had two goals waved off, including Todd Marchant's score when the
referee prematurely blew his whistle with the puck still loose on the ice.
Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said that official Chris Rooney apologized.
The goal would have tied the game at 2.
``If they would have counted that goal it would have made a big
difference,'' Columbus defenseman Luke Richardson said.
Smith's first goal since Nov. 10, 2002, tied it at 1. Columbus goaltender
Marc Denis stopped shots by Jason Morgan and Zidlicky, but Smith put in the
The Predators made it 2-1 when Timonen scored on a hard slap shot from the
top of the left circle on a power play.
In a wild second period, each team had 29 penalty minutes, three five-minute
fighting penalties and one 10-minute misconduct.
``I thought Columbus spent a lot of time trying to prove how tough they
were,'' Nashville coach Barry Trotz said.
Former Blue Jacket Jamie Allison received a 10-minute misconduct and, as he
left the ice, threw his stick like a spear down the tunnel leading to the
Nashville dressing room. A police officer then appeared to get in an argument
Trotz said a fan took Allison's glove as he was headed down the tunnel. Two
fans were later escorted out of the arena by police.
Hartnell made it 3-1 early in the second period with a backhander off
Zidlicky's shot from the point. Orszagh then scored on a slap shot from the top
of the left circle. It was the 12th goal for each.
Letowski cut the lead to 4-2 while falling to the ice. The goals by
Hartnell, Orszagh and Letowski all came in a span of 1:56.
The teams traded third-period goals, with three of the four scores coming on
the power play.
``It's a nice way to finish off a four-game road trip,'' Hartnell said after
Nashville went 2-2. ``Anytime you can go .500 on a road trip, that's pretty