February 2, 2013; San Jose, CA, USA; San Jose Sharks goalie Antti Niemi (31) looks back at the net after Nashville Predators center Craig Smith (15, not pictured) scored the game-winning goal during the shootout period at HP Pavilion. The Predators defeated the Sharks 2-1 in a shootout. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Central Division: Nashville Predators Host San Jose Sharks, Hawks Return Home

Two of today’s six NHL games feature Central Division teams. The Nashville Predators get the day off, which will hopefully allow them to figure out exactly what happened last night against Chicago.

Around The Central Division: February 12, 2013

YESTERDAY

Central Division team Columbus picked up a win

Steve Mason stood tall and crouched low as necessary for the Blue Jackets. (PHOTO: Greg Bartram-USA TODAY Sports)

Columbus Blue Jackets 6, San Jose Sharks 2

Brandon Dubinsky (1G-6A) scored just 43 seconds into the game to set the tone for Columbus, who added another five goals and broke their own losing streak while extending San Jose’s. Steve Mason (2-4-0, 2.85 GAA, .904 SV%) picked up the win, while Sharks backup Thomas Greiss (1-2-0, 2.68, .913) took the loss. Blades of Teal calls the loss “a new low.”

Pacific Division versus Central Division

The patented Pancake Head Butt works wonders for Dustin Penner. (PHOTO: Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports)

Los Angeles Kings 4, St. Louis Blues 1

Jaroslav Halak (3-0-0, 2.10, .889) is back from injured reserve with the Blues now, but Brian Elliott (3-5-1, 3.57, .849) found out five minutes before the game that he would be starting once again. Jeff Carter (6G-1A) beat him twice on the night, as did two other Kings players, serving the Blues their fifth consecutive defeat. It was the first win of the season for Kings backup goalie Jonathan Bernier (1-1-0, 2.65, .884), who has been stranded behind the struggling Jonathan Quick (3-4-2, 2.70, .891). Rink Royalty runs down the win.

Transactions

St. Louis Blues assigned G Jake Allen to Peoria (AHL) and reassigned G Paul Karpowich from Peoria to Evansville (ECHL).

Standings

Leaders

Points: Patrick Kane (CHI) – 19
Goals:
Patrick Kane (CHI) - 9
Assists:
 Henrik Zetterberg (DET) – 13
PIM:
Jared Boll (CBJ) – 61
Wins:
Corey Crawford (CHI) – 7
GAA:
Corey Crawford (CHI) – 1.62
SV%:
Corey Crawford (CHI) – .935

TODAY

Central Division beat Pacific last time aroundSan Jose Sharks (7-3-2) at Nashville Predators (5-3-4)
7:00 p.m. CST

After starting the season with seven straight wins, the Sharks have dropped five in a row including last night’s drubbing at the hands of the Blue Jackets. Nashville’s task for the night will be to break their own two-game losing streak, accrued over the weekend against Minnesota and Chicago, by keeping the Sharks exactly where they’ve been since the Preds beat them in San Jose on February 2nd.

Pacific Division versus Central Division

Tonight is the first of seven straight at home for the Blackhawks. (PHOTO: Kelvin Kuo-USA TODAY Sports)

Anaheim Ducks (8-2-1) at Chicago Blackhawks (10-0-2)
7:30 p.m. CST

Here’s a scary thought: after playing 10 of their first 12 games on the road, the Chicago Blackhawks are returning home to start a seven-game home stand. Tonight they face an Anaheim team that has won five of its last six while averaging 3.67 goals per game.

Tags: Central Division Nashville Predators

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