The Predators finished up their short, three-game road trip last night against division rivals the Columbus Blue Jackets. Okay, using the word “rivals” is being overly nice, considering the Predators have won four games against them and only lost one 4-3 in overtime. Needless to say, both the Predators and the fans were expecting a nice recovery win after being shutout 3-0 against the New York Rangers on Tuesday night. Pekka Rinne and the Predators answered that loss with a shutout of their own, denying the Columbus Blue Jackets any goal 3-0. Interestingly enough, although the Blue Jackets are last in the league, Columbus was the only team left that had yet to have a shutout all season. Welp, that ending last night. Here are the highlights from last night’s game in O-HI-O:
- Ryan Suter was missing from action once again last night due to his upper-body injury. Although still unnamed, coach Barry Trotz did say it was not his head, so no concussions for number 20. Good news for Jerred Smithson, as he was released off the IR last night just in time to play against the Blue Jackets. Brian McGrattan was scratched along with the new kid from Denver, Brandon Yip.
- With the news of Smithson’s release off the IR, news of a new Right Wing that was picked up off waivers from the Colorado Avalanche began to circulate. Brandon Yip was drafted 8th in the 2004 Draft by the Avalanche and has recently recovered from groin and arm injuries he sustained during the season, keeping him from major ice time. Most would say this could put the Predators in a sticky situation, but then again, same was said when the Predators picked up SK74 also…
- Neither team was able to collect any goals during the first period, but Martin Erat was finally able in the second to give the Predators the advantage at 11:08. He and Sergei Kostitsyn completed a nice 2-on-1 to collect the goal. This was Marty’s 11th goal for the season.
- Mike Fisher wasted no time grabbing his 9th goal of the season at 13:11 with assistance from Martin Erat and Roman Josi on the power play.
- Shea Weber and his sniper shot from 160 feet away to the empty net sealed the game in the Predators favor at 19:28. Jerred Smithson and Kevin Klein helped set up the impressive shot. This was Weber’s 10th goal of the season.
- Pekka Rinne was the much deserving 1st Star of the Night last night with his incredible 38 saves, including quite a few inhuman moves to block the net. After resting against the Rangers, Peks definitely proved he was rested up against the ever-competitive Central Division. This win over the Blue Jackets was Pekka’s 120th win of his career.
- The Predators may have won 3-0, but they were out-shot 38 to 25. The Predators also gave the Columbus Blue Jackets more power play chances, but the Blue Jackets were unable to capitalize from any of them. Here are the three guys who took the penalties:
- Nick Spaling – 7:34 2nd Period – Tripping
- Francis Bouillon – 3:53 3rd Period – Hooking
- Sergei Kostitsyn – 18:43 3rd Period – Slashing
The Predators are still 4th in the Central Division, but are now 27-16-4 on the season and are 9th overall in the league. The Predators welcome the Chicago Blackhawks to Nashville tomorrow night, who are currently in 3rd in the division. As you might assume, the Predators are clawing their way to the top to topple the Detroit Red Wings, who are currently on a five-game winning streak.
The Predators and the Blackhawks drop the puck at 7PM tomorrow night. Don’t forget: If you normally purchase the $10 tickets at the box office on Saturday mornings, they have changed the way you can get tickets now. To sway the sell of tickets to scalpers, the Predators are now “raffling” the 100 $10 to fans who get to the box office 30 minutes before tickets go on sale. Hopefully this will work out well in the favor of the fans.