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NHL Game Summary - Nashville at Columbus

(Thursday, January 29th)

Final Score: Nashville 6, Columbus 4

Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Scott Walker scored the eventual game-winning goal midway through the third period and Marek Zidlicky assisted on three others to lead the Nashville Predators to a 6-4 win over Columbus at Nationwide Arena.

Martin Erat, Vladimir Orszagh, Scott Hartnell, Kimmo Timonen and Wyatt Smith scored Nashville's other five goals, as the Predators opened a 4-1 lead and held on to win their sixth straight over the Blue Jackets. Tomas Vokoun stopped 27 of the 31 shots he faced to earn the victory.

"It was a hard-fought battle," Walker said. "We were fighting for our lives here, for playoffs. It was an exciting game all-around and nice to see guys stepping up and protecting each other."

Trevor Letowski scored two goals and assisted on another in the loss for the Blue Jackets, who dropped their second consecutive contest. Manny Malhotra notched three assists for Columbus, while Geoff Sanderson and Tyler Wright scored the Blue Jackets' other two goals.

Columbus used both of its goaltenders, as Marc Denis got the start, but gave up four goals on the 16 shots he faced. Fred Brathwaite came on midway through the second period and made 13 saves on 15 shots.

Both teams tallied three power-play goals each. Nashville and Columbus were both 3-for-6 on the power play, as the second period saw a combined 58 penalty minutes.

"It was a physical hockey game," Columbus head coach Gerard Gallant said. "It was a typical Nashville and Columbus game."

Walker scored the first goal of the third period at the 8:40 mark on a power play, giving the Predators a 5-2 lead. The Nashville forward skated between the circles and used a screen in front of Brathwaite to fire a wrist shot that went under the netminder's glove.

Letowski cashed in a power play for Columbus with 8:07 left to make it 5-3, but Erat scored his 11th of the season just 50 seconds later to again restore a three-goal advantage for Nashville.

Wright brought Columbus within two with 2:55 remaining in the game, as his wrister squeezed past Vokoun and the left post. It was the third straight game that Wright registered a goal.

The Columbus forward had an opportunity to tally another a minute later, but his wrist shot was blocked by a Predators defenseman in front of the net.

Sanderson gave the Blue Jackets a 1-0 lead at 6:39 of the first period when he redirected Rick Nash's shot over Vokoun's blocker.

The Predators then scored the next four goals.

Smith notched his first goal of the season at the 8:09 mark of period, as he skated into the crease and backhanded a rebound attempt under Denis' legs.

Timonen's goal put Nashville on top 2-1 with 1:49 remaining in the first. He tracked down a loose puck in Columbus' zone and ripped a slapper from the top of the right circle that made its way through traffic and past Denis' glove for his sixth of the season.

Hartnell then redirected a Zidlicky slapper from the point, which flipped up and over Denis' glove just 39 seconds into the second period.

Orszagh made it 4-1 at the 2:10 mark with his 12th goal, beating Denis through the five-hole with a slapper.

Letowski's first tally for Columbus, off a rebound, came just 25 seconds later.

Game Notes

Zidlicky tied a career high for points in a game with three...Nashville is 7-1-1 in its last nine meetings with Columbus...Smith scored his first goal in the NHL since November of 2002...Nash extended his point streak to three games and has three goals with two assists in that span.

01/30 01:55:57 ET

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