By Amanda DiPaolo
Monday night, the Nashville Predators met central division rivals the Columbus Blue Jackets for the first of six meetings between the two clubs this season. The Predators have owned the Blue Jackets, boasting a 40-12-(4)-1 record entering Monday’s match.
While Nashville had won four of the last five games, they lost David Legwand and again Ryan Suter in the process. Columbus were winners of the last three games in a row, sweeping their games last week in California. The Blue Jackets also have the NHL’s number one star of the week, Rick Nash, who had scored 6 goals in those 3 games.
With momentum and pride building with each game they win as the pundits all counted them out before the season began, the confidence of the Blue Jackets was just to much for Nashville to handle as Steve Mason stopped all 27 shots to earn the shutout in goal and Columbus took the two points, winning 2-0.
Mike Commodore opened the scoring up for Columbus with 8:37 left to play in the first period with a wrist shot that got passed Pekka Rinne. Assists were given to RJ Umberger and Nikita Filatov. It was the defenseman’s second goal of the season.
One statistic that jumped right out for Predators fans once the Blue Jackets scored was how good Columbus is when they score first. Before the game, they were 6-0-1 when the Blue Jackets tally first. Now make that 7-0-1 when scoring first.
With 14:14 left in the second period, Rick Nash made it 2-0 just moments after the Predators JP Dumont had a chance to tie the game for Nashville but was unable to convert. The goal was Nash’s 13th of the season. He is on a 9 goal scoring streak which is tied for the longest in franchise history. Nash’s line, consisting also of Derek Brassard and Jakub Voracek is one of the hottest line combinations in the league.
Both teams had several power play opportunities, but neither were able to convert on the man advantage, which should come as no surprise since both Columbus and Nashville rank in the bottom five power play teams.
Jakob Voracek sent a pass across the ice to a Rick Nash who was open and all alone on Rinne’s left side.
For the Predators, at least one penalty was a call that should have been avoided. At the end of the first period, Martin Erat was called for holding the stick of Mike Commodore. Erat had falled down right in front of the official. The pulling of the stick appears to have been his retaliatory move to keep Commodore from the puck in the dying seconds of the period. Problem was, the Predators were in the offensive zone so he wasn’t saving a sure goal.
Blue Jackets defenseman Marc Methot suffered an upper body injury and did not return to the game for the third period. The extent of the injury is not yet known.
Nashville remains in 13th position in the Western Conference, and still only 2 points out of 8th spot. The Predators next play on Wednesday night at Bridgestone Arena against the Blues. The game is going to be televised nationally on Versus.
Are you looking for tickets to an upcoming Predators home game? Follow this link for discounted tickets. Make an account and then use the word Preds as the code for the discount. The next Predators home game is Wednesday, November 24th when the Preds take on the St. Louis Blues for the third and final time at Bridgestone Arena. The game is going to be televised nationally on Versus. You do not want to miss it!