NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) - Steve Sullivan scored the winning goal in the fifth round of the shootout to give the Nashville Predators a 4-3 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Thursday night.
The Predators have defeated Columbus 13 consecutive times at home. The Blue Jackets haven't won in Nashville since April 3, 2006.
Sullivan beat goalie Mathieu Garon with a wrist shot under the goalie's pad for the winner. Garon had won an NHL-record 13 consecutive shootouts.
Dave Scatchard, who had missed five games because of an upper body injury, gave the Predators a 1-0 at 11:03 of the first period. Martin Erat and Jason Arnott scored in the second period for Nashville.
Blue Jackets defenseman Kris Russell and Raffi Torres also scored in the second, and Rick Nash tied it in the third for Columbus.
On the first goal, from the left point Nashville defenseman Kevin Klein sent a pass toward Scatchard, who was standing just to the right of the Columbus net. He redirected the puck past Garon 4 seconds after a penalty to Columbus' Derek Dorsett expired.
Columbus tied it at 2:58 of the second on Russell's goal.
Erat's goal at 4:44 of the second gave the Predators a 2-1 lead.
Ryan Suter intercepted a clearing attempt by Columbus defenseman Mike Commodore in the left circle. Suter found Erat in the low slot, and his first shot was stopped by Garon. Erat got to the rebound and lifted a backhander over the fallen goalie.
Torres tied it 2-2 at 11:20 of the second with a power-play goal.
With 1 second remaining in Joel Ward's hooking penalty, Torres grabbed the rebound of Russell's shot from the left point and from below the goal line banked the puck in off of Rinne's right skate.
Arnott gave the Predators a 3-2 lead with 27.2 seconds remaining in the second with his team-leading 11th goal.
Nash converted on a breakaway at 4:18 of the third to tie it again.
Suter had two assists for Nashville, and Kristian Huselius added two for Columbus.
NOTES: Nine of Erat's 10 goals this season have been scored at home. ... The Predators have allowed at least one power-play goal in five of their last six games. ... After breaking a 63-game goal-less stretch, Russell has scored three times in six games. ... Columbus has not allowed a power-play goal in four games.
Head Coach Barry Trotz
On scoring against Mathieu Garon in the shootout…
He had a good run with Edmonton in the past. We scout all the goaltenders. There are tendencies that every goaltender has, and we’ve tried to pick up on a couple of these tendencies. The players use that information and they go to work.
On selecting shooters…
I have a list of one through five every game. After that, it’s ‘make it up as you go along.’ We pre-scout the goaltenders and some of their tendencies and we try to pick the best shooters for those guys, based on their tendencies and moves.
On Nashville’s defensive coverage…
We gave up way too many breakaways today. They had some great chances. It was entertaining for the fans, but it wasn’t aesthetically pleasing for the coaches – we’ll be showing some film, I’m sure.
On tonight’s third period…
Pekka made a huge save when it was 3-3 and Umberger was all alone. If they had scored there, they probably would have walked away with the win. It was a huge save.
On Sullivan’s clutch shootout goal…
On the pre-scout we talked about guys that had been hot lately and feeling the puck, along with some of the tendencies that Garon has. There were two pressure situations from the shooters’ side – one was Arnott, when we needed a puck to keep us alive, and Sullivan. Sullivan loves those pressure situations. I’m glad he got one. He’d had a little bit of a dry spell. It was good to see him back on the board.
Forward Jason Arnott
On Nashville winning close games…
It’s a tough league to play in now. Everybody is so equal now – we get into battles each game. It just seems like we do go into overtime with one goal games and its good hockey. You can’t take any team for granted; every team is in every game. Tonight was a huge two points for us and we just have to put it behind us and focus on Detroit now.
On getting called on during the shootout…
He just asked me to go fourth and I said that I would. I had no idea that I was going. I let him make that choice and I’ll go if he asks me to go, for sure.
Goaltender Pekka Rinne
On breaking the shootout winning streak by Columbus goaltender Mathieu Garon…
I knew that he was good at shootouts, but I didn’t know his stats. Hopefully we can keep it going. It’s a big game, so these two points are huge.
On Columbus’ players pausing before making their shot during the shootout…
It’s hard. It’s a good move. Obviously, I want to make those saves, but that’s a pretty nifty move. I was expecting a lot of moves from Kristian Huselius but he caught me by surprise. He made a good shot.
On playing well against Columbus at home…
We’ve been playing a pretty solid defensive game and it’s working.
Forward Martin Erat
On continually beating Columbus at home…
I just hope that it’s going to continue and we need those points, especially in our division. It’s four-point games and if we can win all those games, we will be in good shape at the end of the season.
On his goal scoring streak since being on the top line with Arnott and Sullivan…
They are great players. They are very easy to play with them. They are always in the right spot and it is easy to find them and get the puck back.
On focusing their energies toward Detroit on Saturday…
All those things are important to us. We have to keep them at the bottom of our division if we want to go to the playoffs. We are doing a good job these last two games.