Columbus picked off one of their Central Division rivals last night. (PHOTO: Russell LaBounty-USA TODAY Sports)

Central Division: Preds Beat Sharks, Jackets Top Wings

The Central Division finally gets an off day today after two straight weeks of hockey, Nashville won its second straight shootout, Chicago picked up its seventh win of the season, and Columbus scored a win against Detroit.

Around The Central Division: February 3, 2013

Nashville Predators goalie Pekka Rinne

His old pads seem to have Pekka in a groove. (PHOTO: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports)

YESTERDAY

Nashville Predators 2, San Jose Sharks 1 (SO)

Pekka Rinne stood tall all game for the Nashville Predators as they shut down the top offense in the Western Conference for their second consecutive win. Sergei Kostitsyn scored his first goal of the season and Craig Smith got the shootout winner, beating Antti Niemi with a nice move:

Check out my recap for more notes on the game.

Columbus Blue Jackets 4, Detroit Red Wings 2

The only thing in hockey that’s nearly as much fun as a Predators win is a Red Wings loss. The Blue Jackets delivered just that thanks to two second-period goals from Artem Anisimov and a solid 32-of-34 performance from Steve Mason in net.

The real dagger to Detroit’s dark, shriveled heart was Mark Letestu’s shorthanded tally in the third period, which put Columbus up 4-1. After losing to Detroit in a shootout in Week 1, this was a big win for the Blue Jackets. Read the Detroit perspective on an “inevitable meltdown” at Octopus Thrower.

Chicago Blackhawks 3, Calgary Flames 2 (SO)

Chicago was on the verge of losing its first game in overtime this season before Marian Hossa scored with 3.1 seconds remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime. There Ray Emery, who stopped 45 of 47 shots, blanked Calgary in the shootout for the win.

“(We) shouldn’t have won that game,” Patrick Kane said afterward. “(Emery) is the only reason we did.” Blackhawk Up has praise for the bionic man and Patrick Kane.

Transactions

There were no transactions in the Central Division yesterday. But Chad Johnson, who shut the Predators out last Monday night in Phoenix, was reassigned to Portland of the AHL.

Standings

NHL Central Division standings 2-3-13

Leaders

Points: Patrick Kane (CHI) – 13
Goals:
Marian Hossa (CHI) – 6
Assists:
Patrick Kane (CHI) – 9
PIM:
Jared Boll (CBJ) – 44
Wins:
Corey Crawford5
GAA:
Chris Mason (NSH) – 1.00
SV%:
Chris Mason (NSH) – .967

TODAY

For the first time this season, all five Central Division teams have the day off. I hope they’re all getting some sleep before it’s time for Week 3 of the NHL season to begin!

Tags: Central Division Nashville Predators

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