Thursday evening National Hockey League action and the Central Division will square off with the Metro Division as the Nashville Predators grapple with the Columbus Blue Jackets at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. The Preds will be playing on no rest as they have a game in Chicago on Wednesday night, while the Blue Jackets are off a 4-0 loss at Tampa Bay.
Preds Take Down Blackhawks In OT
The Nashville Predators had been struggling on the road, but they are back on track as they have now won their last three games in a row away from home. The Preds come in off a nice 4-3 OT win over the Chicago Blackhawks to put their road record at 12-11 on the year. Nashville has outscored their last three foes by a 12-4 count and they have no re-taken first place in the Central Division. The Preds had a 3-2 lead leat, but the Hawks were able to tie it with just 2:21 left in regulation. Nashville then won it on a goal by Filip Forsberg just 1:00 into the extra session. It was his 2nd of the game and 16th of the year. Colton Sissons (9th) and Viktor Arvidsson (13th) also scored in the win.
Grabbing the win was Pekka Rinne, who stopped 28 of the 31 shots that he faced to move to 17-12 with a 2.25 GAA on the year. Juuse Saros will get the nod for the Preds in this one and he has gone 10-6 with a 2.71 GAA and a .907 save percentage on the year, including 6-4 with a 3.07 GAA and a .892 save percentage on the road. In his career, he has gone 1-0 with a 3.00 GAA in two games against the Blue Jackets. Nashville checks in at 26th in the league in power play conversions at 15.1 ppg and 10th in penalty kill at 82.0%.
The Offense Was A No-Show Against The Lighting
The Columbus Blue Jackets have been a top ten offensive team for much of the year, but that offense was a complete no-show in their 4-0 road loss to the Tampa Bay Lightning. The Lightning shut them down and it was just the 2nd time this year that the Blue Jackets were blanked. Columbus has struggled a bit of late as they have lost three of their last five games, but they are still in 3rd place in the Metro Division and just five points out of first. They hope to get back on track against a Nashville team that has struggled on the road of late. Leading Columbus in goals this year has been Cam Atkinson, who has 24, while Pierre-Luc Dubois is 2nd with 16 and Josh Anderson is 3rd with 15. The Blue Jackets have gone 11-10 here at home for the year and they have averaged 3.29 gpg and have allowed 3.05 gpg in those games.
Absorbing the loss against the Lightning was Sergei Bobrovsky, who allowed four goals on 19 shot attempts to fall to 18-14 with a 2.87 GAA and a .906 save percentage on the year, while here at home he has gone 9-8 with a 2.72 GAA and a .907 save percentage. In his career, he has gone 7-5 with a 2.64 GAA against the Predators. Columbus enters this contest ranked 30th in power play conversions at 12.8% and 15th in penalty kill at 80.5%.
- 1-6 in their last 7 vs. a team with a winning record
- 1-4 their last five home games in this series
- 16-5 in their last 21 vs. the Eastern Conference.
- 14-5 in their last 19 in the fourth game of a 4-in-6 situatio