Jason Arnott scores two power-play goals as Predators top Blue Jackets 4-2

It’s a good thing, since he hadn’t found the net in seven games.

Arnott scored two power-play goals within 48 seconds of the second period, lifting the Nashville Predators to a 4-2 victory over the Columbus Blue Jackets on Saturday night.

“I want to perform for myself,” Arnott said. “When they brought me in here they wanted me to expand my role a lot more. They wanted me to do more than just score goals.”

It was the second game in four days between the expansion franchises. They face each other again Monday night in Columbus. The Predators hold a 2-0 lead against their Central Division rival.

“When we make good decisions instead of trying to be too cute we are more effective as a team,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “We don’t make turnovers when we do that. They are going back to their barn for the third game and they will show us the best they have.

“They came out with a lot of fire and I thought we matched their fire and emotion in the first period. We will have to do that again.”

Tomas Vokoun made 28 saves for the win.

The game was typically chippy for these teams. The first period produced seven penalties, six by Columbus. Neither team scored in the first 20 minutes and Nashville squandered five power-play chances.

“I thought we came out with really good energy and purpose,” Trotz said. “We weren’t able to capitalize but we set ourselves up for some things to happen in the second period.”

In the second period, Nashville wasted little time breaking the deadlock. J.P. Dumont skated in from the left side and beat goaltender Pascal Leclaire high to the glove side 11 seconds into the period for a power-play goal.

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“J.P.’s goal was the big one in the game,” Trotz said. “It wiped clean any momentum that Columbus may have carried over from the first period.”

Shea Weber gave the Predators a 2-0 lead at 7:25, scoring on a one-timer.

Arnott found the net at 10:28 from the left circle and at 11:16 from high in the slot.

“It was nice,” Arnott said. “The last game against Minnesota I had six or seven shots. I had quality chances, but nothing went in. It was a little frustrating. This time out, I just tried to help the other guys on the team and not worry about it.”

In the third period, the teams went almost eight minutes without a shot on goal before Sergei Fedorov scored for Columbus at 7:52 on the power play. It was the first power-play goal in four games for the Blue Jackets.

Columbus cut the deficit to 4-2 at 11:23 when Vokoun skated behind the net to try to get control of the puck. Anson Carter blocked Vokoun’s path to the crease, and Dan Fritsche poked the puck into an empty net.

“When you keep getting into penalty trouble you are going to get burned and we did,” Columbus goaltender Pascal LeClaire said. “We have got to stop making excuses and find a way to win one.”

Notes: With a goal and an assist, Dumont has six points (two goals, four assists) in three games. … This was the second meeting between Nashville and Columbus in four days. They meet again Monday in Columbus. … Fedorov has 37 points (14 goals, 23 assists) in 39 career games against Nashville.