Preds and Jackets Meet In Key Central Division Showdown
TONIGHT’S STORYLINES VS. COLUMBUS
Tonight is the second of three straight road games for the Nashville Predators as they take on the Columbus Blue Jackets tonight at Nationwide Arena. The teams have split the 2008-09 season series with each club earning two wins a piece on home ice. The home team has won eight of the last nine in the series. The last time the two clubs met was a 4-2 Nashville victory at the Sommet Center back on March 5. On Dec. 11, Columbus took a 2-1 shootout win at Nationwide Arena. The two clubs split a home-and-home series Oct. 17-18, with the Jackets winning 5-3 at Nationwide Arena, then falling to the Preds 6-3 the following night in the Music City. The Oct. 17 game was Nashville’s only regulation loss to the Blue Jackets since the start of the 2006-07 season. Nashville and Columbus will conclude its season series with a tilt back in Nashville on Saturday night.
The Predators (84 points), who have gone 5-0-3 in their last eight games and 18-7-5 since the All-Star break, have not only climbed back into the playoff picture but are now just two points behind the Blue Jackets (86 points) who hold down the sixth spot in the Western Conference. Each of these teams has six games remaining.
The Predators have come from behind and won in each of their last three games. Nashville rallied from a 2-0 deficit on Thursday to down San Jose 3-2, trailed Los Angeles 2-1 heading into the third period on Saturday before winning in overtime 4-3 and scored three third-period goals on Sunday to defeat Detroit 4-3.
leads all healthy Preds with four points (1g-3a) in four games vs. the Blue Jackets this season. Martin Erat
, who left Sunday’s contest at Detroit with a fractured left leg, had four goals in four games vs. Columbus this season. Steve Sullivan
has 38 points (13g-25a) in 34 career games vs. the Blue Jackets.
Career Milestones attained vs. Columbus
J.P. Dumont – Posted his 400th career NHL point with a goal on Oct. 17, 2008 at Columbus.
Ville Koistinen – Most points in a game (1g-2a), and first career goal (Fredrik Norrena) on Dec. 27, 2007.
– Most goals in a game (2) on Jan. 13, 2007 and most assists/points in a game (3a) on Jan. 21, 2006.
– Most points/assists in a game (1g-3a) on Oct. 18, 2008.
PREDS QUICK HITS
scored the game-winner in Sunday’s 4-3 win over Detroit with 4:36 remaining in the third period… Steve Sullivan
scored and set up Suter’s game-winner to give him six points (2g-4) in his last three games and 21 points (9g-12a) in his last 19 outings … Shea Weber
posted an assist vs. Detroit, giving him 50 points on the season and tying him for third on the Predators' all-time list for points in a season by a defenseman… Joel Ward
scored his sixth goal in the last seven games on Sunday… Jerred Smithson
scored his first goal since Jan. 8… Cal O’Reilly posted a point for the second straight game, giving him three points (1g-2a) in five NHL games… Radek Bonk has three points (1g-2a) in three games since returning from an upper-body injury that kept him out of the lineup for 12 games… Pekka Rinne
improved to 17-0-2 when Nashville scores three-or-more goals and he is now 16-3-4 since the start of February… J.P. Dumont notched an assist Sunday and now has 20 points (4g-16a) in his last 19 games… Vern Fiddler is expected to skate in his 300th career NHL game tonight and Dan Hamhuis will appear in his 400th careeer contest. Nashville went 2-3 on the power-play in Sunday’s win, scoring at least one power-play goal for the fourth straight game.