Predators-Blue Jackets Preview
GAME: Nashville Predators (27-21-7-2) at Columbus Blue Jackets (16-29-8-4).
TIME: Monday, 7 p.m. EST.
The Nashville Predators are learning just how important every point is in
their quest for their first playoff berth.
The Predators will look to solidify their hold on the eighth and final
playoff spot in the Western Conference when they try for their sixth straight
win over the Columbus Blue Jackets.
Nashville blew a third-period lead on Sunday before tying Edmonton 2-2.
"It's too bad that we lost one point," said winger Andreas Johansson, who
had a power-play goal and an assist. "We have to learn how to finish teams
"There's no time to think about it, we go back at it tomorrow."
The Predators, who lead ninth-place St. Louis by one point in the Western
standings, failed to make the playoffs in each of their first five seasons.
Nashville snapped a three-game losing streak with a 5-2 win over Washington
on Friday with backup goalie Chris Mason in goal. Starter Tomas Vokoun, who is
one win shy of matching his career high of 25, allowed 12 goals in losing all
three games during the slide.
Vokoun, who stopped 27 shots on Sunday, has allowed three or more goals in
six of his last eight starts.
Scott Walker, who has nine goals and 15 assists in his last 26 games, also
scored a power-play goal against Edmonton, and defenseman Kimmo Timonen added
an assist for his ninth point in nine games (one goal, eight assists).
The Predators, who have beaten Columbus four times this season, are 5-for-15
on the power play since the All-Star break.
The Blue Jackets are coming off Saturday's 2-1 overtime loss to San Jose -
their third defeat in four games (1-2-0-1).
Marc Denis set a team record with 48 saves for Columbus, which had won its
previous two at home. Geoff Sanderson scored the Blue Jackets' lone goal.
"We can't play like that. We played like a bunch of individuals tonight. It
wasn't a team game," interim coach Gerard Gallant said.