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Nashville Predators vs. Columbus Blue Jackets

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Predators-Blue Jackets Preview

GAME: Nashville Predators (24-18-6-2) at Columbus Blue Jackets (14-26-7-3).

TIME: Thursday, 7 p.m. EST.

The Nashville Predators look to continue their dominance over the Columbus Blue Jackets when the Central Division rivals meet for the fourth time this season.

Nashville has outscored Columbus 11-6 in winning the first three meetings this season, and has won five in a row overall against the Blue Jackets since a 2-1 loss on Jan. 30, 2003.

The Predators, however, come into this contest struggling.

They went unbeaten in a season-high seven straight games (5-0-2) from Jan. 8-19, but have since dropped two of three on a four-game road trip.

Nashville lost 4-1 to the Vancouver Canucks on Sunday, and has been outscored 11-5 on the trip.

The Predators fell behind 4-0 just 33 minutes into Sunday's game, and didn't score until Jordin Tootoo's power-play goal midway through the third period.

``We weren't ready to play,'' said Nashville goalie Chris Mason, who made 28 saves. ``Against a team like Vancouver, if you're not ready, they're going to take it to you.''

Columbus has also lost two of three games _ allowing 14 goals _ following a season high-tying unbeaten streak (2-0-1).

The Blue Jackets were down 3-0 to the New Jersey Devils on Tuesday before cutting the deficit to one goal with 2:17 remaining, but couldn't come all the way back in losing 4-3 to the defending Stanley Cup champions.

Rick Nash scored his NHL-leading 31st goal, tying the franchise record with his 15th power-play score, and added an assist for the Blue Jackets.

``For two periods we competed real hard and played even up with those guys,'' Columbus coach Gerard Gallant said. ``We just let it get away in the first period.''

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