NHL Preview from The Sports Network|
Thursday, January 19th
(All times Eastern)
Nashville Predators (26-16-4) at Columbus Blue Jackets (13-27-5), 7 p.m.
(Sports Network) - The Nashville Predators will try to get back in the win
column without the help of one of their top defensemen when they visit the
lowly Columbus Blue Jackets for tonight's Central Division clash at Nationwide
The Predators lost a 3-0 road decision Tuesday in New York, ending the club's
season high-tying winning streak at five games. Nashville played Tuesday's
game without defenseman Ryan Suter and the All-Star has already declared
himself out for tonight.
Suter left Monday's 3-1 win over the Islanders with an unspecified upper-body
injury and hasn't played since. The 26-year-old has totaled five goals and 25
points in 45 games this season and is leading Nashville with an average of 26
minutes, 30 seconds of ice time per game.
This evening's test also marks the end of a three-game road trip for the
Predators, who are 12-9-1 as the guest this season.
Nashville fired 27 shots at New York goaltender Henrik Lundqvist on Tuesday
and the steady Swede turned aside every one to post his fourth shutout of the
"I thought we had a decent effort against a top team in the East. I don't
think we played poorly by any means," Predators center Mike Fisher said. "We
competed and just didn't bury our chances."
Anders Lindback was the tough-luck loser as he allowed just two goals on 28
shots for the Predators, who are the sixth seed in the West and one point
ahead of Los Angeles.
The Blue Jackets are last in the NHL with just 31 points, but the club has
notched wins in two of its last three trips to the ice. Columbus is 2-2 since
Todd Richards took over as head coach for the fired Scott Arniel.
Columbus rallied from two goals down to beat the visiting Edmonton Oilers by a
4-2 score on Tuesday. The Oilers held a 2-0 lead just under nine minutes into
the game, but the Blue Jackets scored four unanswered goals over the final two
Derek MacKenzie scored the game-winning goal early in the third period and
Ryan Johansen, Derick Brassard and Derek Dorsett also scored in the comeback
win. Curtis Sanford made 21 saves to post the victory for the Blue Jackets.
"It wasn't the start we were looking for," said Richards. "We kind of waded
into the game and spotted them two goals. But we kept pushing and found a way
Tonight, the Blue Jackets will try to post consecutive victories for the first
time since Nov. 19 and 21, when they beat Nashville and Calgary, respectively.
This evening's test marks the end of a four-game homestand for Columbus, which
is 8-12-3 as the host this season.
Nashville is 3-1 against the Jackets this season and has won seven of the last
nine encounters in this divisional rivalry. The Predators have also skated
away with wins in three of their last four trips to Columbus.
01/19 10:50:35 ET