Thursday, January 19, 2012

Preds continue dominance against Blue Jackets in Rinne's shutout effort

The Nashville Predators defeated the Columbus Blue Jackets by a 3-0 score on Thursday night at Nationwide Arena. It was the ninth win in the last 11 games for the Predators, who are trying to keep pace in the ultra-competitive Central Division.

Martin Erat got the Predators on the board in the second period. He was able to finish on a 2-on-1 rush. Sergei Kostitsyn displayed some good patience, and was able to deliver a perfect saucer pass to Erat for the goal.

Mike Fisher added the second goal for the Predators on the power play. Erat delivered a great pass on a back-door play, and Fisher was able to tap the puck into what was essentially an open net.

Shea Weber added an empty-net goal while shorthanded at 19:28 of the third period to ice the game away for the Predators. He shot it from about 160 feet away from the goal, which made the shot all the more impressive.

Pekka Rinne was spectacular in net once again for the Predators, particularly in the third period. He stopped all 38 Columbus shots, and made a few incredible saves to preserve the lead for the Predators. It was his fourth shutout of the season, and the 24th of his NHL career.

With the win, Nashville moves to 27-16-4 on the season, which is good for 58 points. The Predators are still in fourth place in the Central Division, and will have a chance to gain ground on the Chicago Blackhawks on Saturday night.

Hockey Night in Nashville's 3 Stars of the game:
1. Pekka Rinne(NSH)
2. Martin Erat(NSH)
3. Mike Fisher(NSH)

Official 3 Stars:
1. Pekka Rinne(NSH)
2. Martin Erat(NSH)
3. Antoine Vermette(CBJ)

(Photo Credit: Leanne Charles)

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