CBJ Capper

This one goes to 11.

Kiefer Sherwood netted his first career goal against his hometown team and Kevin Lankinen answered the call as the Nashville Predators defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets, 2-1, at Nationwide Arena on Saturday. 

The result extended Nashville’s point streak to 11 games (10-0-1), establishing the third-longest such run in franchise history.

“We're starting to find our rhythm,” Sherwood said. “And I think, obviously, you have a new coach, and it takes a little time to adjust, but now we're rolling. And the good thing is right now, at this time of year, we're finding ways to win and every night someone else is contributing. So there's a lot to build on. But, we’ve got to turn the page and be ready for tomorrow.” 

“I think it was a tale of a few different games,” Predators Head Coach Andrew Brunette said. “I really liked our first 15 minutes. We got a little loose for 25, and I really liked our third. I think the maturity of the group, we did a lot of the right things to close the game out and had some opportunities to put it away. And [Lankinen] was outstanding.” 

The Predators are now 37-25-3 on the campaign and 19-10-2 on the road with 17 games remaining. 


Let’s Go, Lankinen

Despite the nearly two-week gap between Kevin Lankinen’s last two starts, the Finnish netminder answered the bell once again, turning away 34 shots and sealing the win for Nashville.

Lankinen did not face a shot for the first 15 minutes of the game, then faced a flurry in the final minutes of the first period. No. 32 kept his team knotted with Columbus through a chaotic middle frame and finally stood tall through a desperate 6-on-5 push in the final seconds of Saturday’s contest.

“He played awesome,” Predators forward Luke Evangelista said. “He's been great for us all year. We have a great duo, but when Lanky steps in, we have all the confidence in him. And you see why on a day like today. He made some huge saves when they're making the big pushes and he kept us in the lead.” 

“He's great,” Brunette said. “Obviously, for Lanky, it's a hard game when you go 15 minutes without giving up a shot. And then there were probably three point-blank shots in a row where he made some unbelievable saves. He let us hang around a little bit at the end. So, he was great. He's been great all year. He's come into tough buildings and had big wins, and I'm really happy for him.”

The result moved Lankinen to 6-1-0 in his last seven starts and 9-4-0 on the campaign.

Sherwood’s Homecoming

Coming home is always sweet, but scoring a goal against your hometown team is even sweeter. 

On Saturday, Sherwood wasted little time in doing so, collecting the puck off a defensive-zone faceoff and skating the length of the ice to crack the score in favor of the visitors just over 12 minutes into the game.

“It's obviously nice to score here,” Sherwood said. “But the most important thing is that we got the two points and we just continue to build and continue to improve.”

Sherwood now has two points (1g-1a) in six career games against the Blue Jackets; his first-period goal was additionally his career-high eighth of the season.

The New Guys

Deadline pickups Anthony Beauvillier and Jason Zucker got acquainted with their new team quickly, making their Predators debuts flanking Colton Sissons on the second line just hours after being traded to Nashville.

Additionally slotted on Nashville’s second power-play unit with Tommy Novak, Luke Evangelista and Ryan McDonagh, Beauvillier and Zucker registered three shots on goal and just over 14 minutes of playing time each in Saturday’s contest.

“I thought they were really good,” Brunette said. “They fit right into the relentlessness and the competitiveness on pucks and they’ve got speed. And I think they’ll get more and more comfortable. They did a lot of good things that didn't get rewarded, but when you do good things, they'll get theirs.”

Shots, Shots, Shots

Nashville’s 49 shots on goal against the Blue Jackets established a season high and matched the franchise record for the eighth-most SOG from the Predators in a single game, established Oct. 9, 2010 vs. the Anaheim Ducks.

“That's part of our identity, we want to be hard to play against,” Sherwood said. “And part of that is our skating and just that relentless mindset, where we continue to hound pucks and work teams down. We pride ourselves on being a third-period team. Whether we're down or up, we just want to impose our will.”

30 Points for Pretty Boy Vincenzo

Connecting with Mark Jankowski for the second straight game, Luke Evangelista scored his first game-winning goal of the season and matched a career-high three-game point streak (2g-1a).

In his 63rd game of the season, the Predators rookie additionally reached the 30-point mark (13g-17a) for the first time in his career. Evangelista is now fifth among NHL rookies in goals and tied for sixth in points.


The Predators conclude their back-to-back set on Sunday with a Central Division showdown against the Minnesota Wild. 

Puck drop at Xcel Energy Center is at 2:30 p.m. CT with the game set to broadcast on TNT/Max, 102.5 The Game and El Jefe Radio.


  • The Predators are three games away from matching the second-longest point streak in franchise history (14 in 2015-16) and four from matching the longest (15 GP in 2017-18).
  • Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Tyson Barrie and Cody Glass were scratched and did not skate in Saturday’s game.

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