NHL Preview from The Sports Network
Saturday, March 8th (All times Eastern)
Columbus Blue Jackets (32-26-5) at Nashville Predators (26-27-10), 8 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - The Columbus Blue Jackets will try to rebound from a rough loss when the playoff-hopeful club visits the sliding Nashville Predators for Saturday's test at Bridgestone Arena.
The Blue Jackets are trying to make the franchise's second ever trip to the postseason and the club was doing a good job of picking up points recently before getting slammed 6-1 in Chicago on Thursday.
Columbus was on a three-game winning streak before getting blown out by the defending Stanley Cup champions in the Windy City. Jonathan Toews and Andrew Shaw both tallied twice to help the Blackhawks win for the 12th straight time against the Blue Jackets.
Ryan Johansen provided the lone offense for Columbus, which enters Saturday's action two points behind Detroit for the final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Blue Jackets made their only trip to the postseason in the spring of 2009, when they were swept out of the first round by the Red Wings.
Sergei Bobrovsky allowed four goals on 18 shots in 32-plus minutes to take the loss on Thursday. Curtis McElhinney finished the contest with 13 stops.
The loss in Chicago marked the start of a three-game road trip for the Blue Jackets, who fell to 14-15-3 as the visiting team this season.
Columbus hopes to avenge a shutout loss from earlier this season when it visits the Music City tonight. The Predators posted a 4-0 win at Nationwide Arena on Nov. 27 to win for just the second time in six meetings versus the Blue Jackets.
The Predators are eight points out of a playoff spot in the West and have done themselves few favors recently, losing three straight and six of their last seven games.
Nashville last played on Thursday when it dropped a 2-1 decision against Ryan Miller and the visiting St. Louis Blues. Miller turned aside 20-of-21 shots to remain unbeaten in a Blues' uniform and Magnus Paajarvi recorded the game- winning score with 8:18 elapsed in the second period.
Preds goaltender Pekka Rinne stopped 20-of-22 chances in his second game back from a hip injury, but the Predators mustered only Nick Spaling's first-period score in falling to 1-4-2 over their last seven games.
"We had a couple of looks, and when we had those looks, we weren't able to get it by Miller," Nashville head coach Barry Trotz said.
Nashville is 0-2-0 so far on a three-game homestand and is 15-15-4 in Music City this season.
03/08 10:50:07 ET