Rookie Patric Hornqvist and defenseman Shea Weber each assisted on the other's power-play goal to lead the Predators to a 3-1 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night at Sommet Center. Fellow rookie forward Antti Pihlstrom picked up the other Preds goal, while defenseman Ryan Suter added a pair of assists, his second two-assist game in as many appearances this preseason.
After playing three games in three nights, Nashville will take a short break from preseason action before returning to play on Thursday night against the Carolina Hurricanes (7 pm start at Sommet Center).
Jordin Tootoo set the groundwork for the Preds first goal, drawing a double-minor penalty from Jared Boll at the 7:71 mark and then with 1:38 remaining in the second penalty, drawing a hooking call to give Nashville a five-on-three power-play. Off the faceoff, Hornqvist had a quick attempt by the far post, followed in quick succession by a pair of quality chances for Weber. Weber broke his stick on a third attempt, but the Preds retained posession and as Boll's penalty expired, Hornqvist snapped a low shot from the left wing faceoff dot just inside the far post for his first goal of the preseason.
Despite getting outshot 19-0 in the second period, the Preds retained their 1-0 lead, thanks to solid goaltending and strong a penalty kill that negated six Columbus power-play opportunities in the period.
Martin Erat created the second Preds goal, coming out of the penalty box and picking up the puck in the neutral zone. Erat carried the play down the right wing into the offensive zone before cutting left to right through the high slot area and sweeping a pass across his body to Radek Bonk at the left wing faceoff dot. Bonk found Antti Pihlstrom at the left post. Pihlstrom shoveled the puck under the Columbus as he tried to slide post-to-post, Pihlstrom's first goal of the preseason.
Weber single-handedly brought the score to 3-0, drawing an elbowing penalty from Boll and then, 0:24 into the power-play, riffling a blast from the blueline for his second power-play goal in as many nights. Suter and Hornqvist picked up the assists on the goal, Suter's fourth assist in the home-and-home set with the Blue Jackets.
Columbus spoiled the shutout bid with 5:43 left in the game when Derek Dorsett, charging down the center slot, redirected a centering feed over Pekka Rinne's sholder into the upper corner of the net.
Dan Ellis started in net for the Predators and stopped all 15 shots he faced before giving way to Rinne midway through the sescond period. Rinne turned aside 12-of-13 shots to wrap up the game.