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NHL Preview from The Sports Network

Wednesday, December 1st (All times eastern)

Nashville Predators (10-8-5) at Columbus Blue Jackets (14-8-0), 7 p.m.

(Sports Network) - The Columbus Blue Jackets will try to rebound from a rough weekend when they host the Nashville Predators for tonight's Central Division battle at Nationwide Arena.

The Blue Jackets did not fare well against another divisional opponent this past weekend, as they were swept by Detroit in a home-and-home series. The Red Wings won both games in regulation, posting a 2-1 victory Friday in Ohio before returning to the Motor City for Sunday's 4-2 decision.

Columbus entered the home-and-home tied with the Red Wings for first in the Central, but is currently six points behind Detroit.

The Blue Jackets are also just three points ahead of last-place Nashville in the Central, but Columbus took an early lead in the season series by posting a 2-0 win over the Predators a few weeks ago at Nationwide Arena. That victory, which came on Nov. 22, was just the second for Columbus in the last eight meetings between the clubs.

However, Nashville has lost five of seven and six of its last nine at Nationwide Arena. The Blue Jackets are 6-6-0 overall as the host this season.

The Blue Jackets held a 1-0 lead in Sunday's game against Detroit, but Niklas Kronwall and Darren Helm scored 14 seconds apart in the second period to give the Red Wings the lead for good.

Derick Brassard and R.J. Umberger lit the lamp for the Blue Jackets, who had a five-game winning streak halted by the Red Wings on Friday in Columbus. Steve Mason stopped 38 shots in defeat.

"They played good both games (of the home-and-home)," said Umberger. "The difference is this time they were in their building. They were completely energized all night."

Umberger extended his point streak to nine games with his goal on Sunday, but also saw his club-record assist streak end at eight games. The 28-year-old forward has five goals and four assists in 15 career games against Nashville.

The Blue Jackets are expecting to have forward Ethan Moreau back in the lineup tonight for the first time since Oct. 20. Moreau suffered a broken right hand in a game against Anaheim, but has declared himself ready to play. The veteran winger has one goal and one assists in five games this season.

Columbus defenseman Marc Methot, however, has missed the last three games for the Blue Jackets and expected to sit out again tonight.

The Predators ended a four-game slide Tuesday with a shutout victory over the visiting Phoenix Coyotes. Pekka Rinne stopped all 33 shots he faced for his third shutout of the season in the 3-0 win over the Coyotes.

Shea Weber and Cal O'Reilly notched man-advantage scores for the Predators, who posted an 0-2-2 record over their previous four games. Steve Sullivan added a pair of assists.

"It was good to get a goal early on the power play," Nashville head coach Barry Trotz said. "I thought early our power play was moving the puck really well."

Preds forward David Legwand missed his sixth straight game with a lower-body injury and is not expected to be ready to play until Saturday's game against Carolina at the earliest.

Nashville is 6-7-0 as the visiting team this year and has lost its last two road contests.

12/01 10:47:04 ET

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