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
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