Predators 4, Blue Jackets 3, SO
When the Columbus Blue Jackets come to Nashville, everything
seems to go right for the hometown Predators.
Steve Sullivan scored the winning goal in the fifth round of the
shootout to give Nashville a 4-3 victory over Columbus on Thursday
night. The Predators have beaten the Blue Jackets 13 consecutive
times at home, dating to Nashville’s previous loss on April 3,
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 and was 18-4 in his career in the
“I don’t know if my pad was not flat on the ice, I’ll have to
check the replay,” Garon said. “I thought I had him when I saw
him make his move.”
Predators coach Barry Trotz made a good choice in sending
Sullivan out to shoot.
“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,” Trotz said. “Sully loves those pressure
situations, and I’m glad he got one.”
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
Blue Jackets defenseman Kris Russell and Raffi Torres also
scored in the second, and Rick Nash tied it in the third for
On the first goal, Nashville defenseman Kevin Klein sent a pass
from the left point 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.
Nash sent a pass from below the goal line that Nashville’s David
Legwand was unable to handle in the low slot. Russell controlled
the puck and beat goalie Pekka Rinne on the glove side.
Erat’s goal at 4:44 of the second gave the Predators a 2-1
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.
“I just hope that it’s going to continue, we need those points
especially in our division,” Erat said. “It’s four-point games,
and if we can win all of those games, we will be in good shape at
the end of the season.”
Torres tied it 2-2 at 11:20 of the second with a power-play
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
“It was kind of an up-and-down game because both teams play the
same style of game,” Rinne said. “We’ve been playing a pretty
solid defensive game, and it’s working.”
Rinne turned aside three of five Columbus shootout attempts to
improve to 3-0 in tiebreakers this season.
Arnott gave the Predators a 3-2 lead with 27.2 seconds remaining
in the second with his team-leading 11th goal. The Predators
needing a goal in the fourth round to extend it to a fifth. Trotz
selected Arnott, and the captain came through, beating Garon with a
backhander between the pads.
“He just asked me to go fourth and I said that I would,”
Arnott said. “I had no idea that I was going.”
Nash converted on a breakaway at 4:18 of the third to tie it
“I think our players are disappointed in the fact that they
played well and didn’t get the two points,” Columbus coach Ken
Hitchcock said. “Nashville is probably a team that we’re going to
have to catch to get a playoff spot.”
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.