NHL Game Summary - Nashville at Columbus
(Monday, February 16th)
Final Score: Columbus 4, Nashville 2
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Manny Malhotra scored two goals, propelling the Columbus Blue Jackets past the Nashville Predators, 4-2, at Nationwide Arena.
Marc Denis stopped 32 shots for Columbus, which snapped its two-game losing streak. Jaroslav Spacek and David Ling added goals for the Blue Jackets, who broke a six-game losing streak against the Predators.
Tomas Vokoun stopped 19 shots for Nashville, which is now 2-7-1 in its last 10 road tilts. Greg Johnson and David Legwand lit the lamp for Nashville in defeat.
Nashville did pick up some scoring punch Monday, acquiring forward Steve Sullivan from the Chicago Blackhawks for two second-round draft picks.
The 29-year-old Sullivan was the Blackhawks' leading scorer with 15 goals and 28 assists. He has two short-handed goals this season and will provide the Predators offense with a spark.
Columbus jumped out to a 3-0 advantage in the first period and controlled the contest the rest of the way. The first period was marred by fights. Between the 3:17 mark and the 3:21 mark of the stanza there were three fights and 30 penalty minutes called.
"Everything adds up," Vokoun said. "We made a few mistakes and it's 3-0 before you know it."
Malhotra lit the lamp 7:02 into the game to give the Blue Jackets the early 1-0 lead. Vokoun, who was out of his crease, attempted to play a loose puck around the boards from the left face off circle. Instead the puck caromed off the side of the post where it fluttered into the slot, and Malhotra stuffed home the empty netter.
Malhotra added his second tally of the game, a power-play goal just 1:42 later. Rostislav Klesla blasted a shot from just inside the blue line and Vokoun did not make a clean save, as the puck went off his pads. From there Malhotra lifted a shot that beat Vokoun high glove side for a 2-0 edge.
The Blue Jackets owned a three-goal cushion with 7:19 left in the first stanza on what appeared to be Malhotra's third marker of the game. Instead the goal was awarded to Spacek. Spacek played the puck along the boards down the ice to the Predators end. Nashville defenseman Kimmo Timonen skated around the Predators net attempting to fire the puck up ice. Malhotra snuck in from behind the right side of the post and disrupted Timonen as he was switching the puck from forehand to backhand. A rattled Timonen misplayed the puck and it trickled by an unsuspecting Vokoun.
However, the goal was credited to Spacek because he initially fired the puck in the Predators zone and Malhotra's stick never touched the puck. The short-handed tally by Spacek was just the fourth by a defenseman in Blue Jackets history.
"I knew right away that I hadn't touched it," Malhotra said. "I forced his stick, so he just kind of bobbled the puck. I knew right away it wasn't mine."
Johnson got Nashville on the board in the opening stages of the final stanza, when he stuffed home a shot in the slot past Denis, 2:28 into the stanza,
Ling added an insurance goal for Columbus late in the third, banking a shot from behind the left side of net off Vokoun, making it a 4-1 game.
Legwand finished the scoring, beating Denis glove side off a one-timer from the right face off circle at 16:31 of the third.
Malhotra now has a career-high in goals scored this season with 10...Nashville is 4-1 against Columbus this season...Ling's tally was his first of the season...This marked the first time this season that Columbus scored three goals in the first period.
02/16 23:55:41 ET