NHL Game Summary - Nashville at Columbus
(Monday, December 14th)
Final Score: Nashville 5, Columbus 3
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Steve Sullivan registered his seventh career hat trick, as the Nashville Predators earned a 5-3 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena.
Patric Hornqvist and Ryan Jones also tallied for the Predators, who regrouped after dropping a 3-2 overtime decision to Detroit on Saturday. Nashville has won three of four overall. Dan Ellis stopped 28-of-31 shots.
"We had a lot of chances early on in the first period," Sullivan said. "I thought we had lot of momentum and a lot of puck possession time in their end. We felt positive and just built off the momentum we had in the first period and just continued on throughout the game."
Jakub Voracek and R.J. Umberger each had a goal and an assist for Columbus, which has lost six of their last seven and are just 2-7-4 in their last 13 games. Antoine Vermette also lit the lamp, while Steve Mason made 27 saves.
"We were slow with the puck and it's been like that for a little while," Blue Jackets head coach Ken Hitchcock said. "We made a lot of puck errors in our own end. Today has been a microcosm of the season to be honest with you. We create enough chances to score every night. It doesn't matter unless you are good from the red line back."
Sullivan opened the scoring 3:52 into the contest. After keeping the puck in the Nashville zone, the diminutive winger fired a slap shot past Mason on the blocker side from the left circle.
Columbus tied the game on the power play at 16:23, when Vermette tipped home a point shot from Voracek.
The Predators then struck for two goals 25 seconds apart in the middle stanza. First, it was Hornqvist capitalizing on a Blue Jackets turnover and scoring on a wrister from the low slot at 8:27. Sullivan then stuffed in a rebound after Mason made the initial save on a Martin Erat chance for a 3-1 Nashville lead.
Voracek jammed in a rebound at 11:09 while on the power play to get the Blue Jackets to within a goal. Sullivan restored Nashville's two-goal margin and completed the hat trick with 3:52 left in the second, when he blasted a one- timer from the high slot with the teams skating 4-on-4.
Jones tipped in a Dan Hamhuis shot 6:18 into the third period to put the Predators ahead by a commanding 5-2 margin. Umberger scored on a wraparound at 15:53 to draw the Jackets to within two, but Nashville would hold on in the closing minutes.
The Predators were without forward Jordin Tootoo, who suffered a broken foot in Saturday's loss to Detroit...Columbus placed right wing Derek Dorsett on injured reserve prior to the game with a broken hand...The Predators have won four straight against Columbus, including a 4-3 win in Nashville last Thursday.
12/14 22:28:03 ET