NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When the schedule calls for a road game in Nashville, the Columbus Blue Jackets are pretty sure what the result is going to be.
Shea Weber had a goal and two assists and Pekka Rinne made 19 saves in the Nashville Predators’ 15th straight home victory over the Blue Jackets, 4-1 on Sunday night.
Nick Spaling, Patric Hornqvist and Sergei Kostitsyn also scored for Nashville. The Predators have won two straight following a five-game losing streak.
R.J. Umberger scored for Columbus. The Blue Jackets had won three straight.
After Columbus opened the scoring 37 seconds into the game, Nashville countered with a three-goal second.
“In the first period we got pucks in, got after them, and forced them to turn pucks over,” Columbus coach Scott Arniel said. “(In the second) they did the exact opposite. They did the same thing. Once the first couple went it, it was scramble mode.”
Umberger scored 37 seconds after the opening faceoff when he was able to defect Marc Methot’s shot from the right point past Rinne. Umberger has goals in three consecutive games.
“If you ever want to suck the energy out of a building, just give up a goal on the first shift,” Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. “We were able to get through the first period, and I thought we regrouped very well. I thought after that, we were really strong all game.”
Weber tied it at 2:59 of the second with a slapshot from the middle of the blue-line. Hornqvist screened goalie Steve Mason on the play.
“They played in our end the whole first period, so we had to do something to change it up,” Weber said. “We just wanted to get pucks there and create traffic and chaos in front.”
Nashville took the lead with 6:09 left in the second on Spaling’s goal. Weber sent a wrist shot on net from the right faceoff dot. Mason knocked the shot away, but Spaling was able to knock in the rebound from just outside the crease for his second goal of the season.
“They just simplified things,” Columbus defenceman Kris Russell said. “They got pucks deep and really hounded our defence, and got on top of us and were physical.”
Just under three minutes after Spaling’s goal, Hornqvist grabbed the rebound of Weber’s shot and fired it into the Columbus net while falling to the ice on a power play.
“Webs did a great job of getting pucks through, and the forwards did a good job to be around there,” Hornqvist said. “If you spend some time there, you are going to score some goals.”
Kostitsyn converted a rebound of Colin Wilson’s shot at 5:53 of the third.
Nashville centre Cal O’Reilly broke the fibula in his right leg when he fell awkwardly to the ice just outside of the Columbus blue-line midway through the third period. There didn’t appear to be any contact with the other players on the ice at the time. O’Reilly attempted to crawl back to the Nashville bench before play was halted. In 38 games this season, O’Reilly has six goals and 12 assists.
NOTES: Columbus’ last win in Nashville was April 3, 2006. … The Blue Jackets have been outscored 42-29 in the second period this season … Columbus is 14-3-0 when scoring first … Nashville RW Joel Ward has points in three consecutive games … Nashville hasn’t allowed a power-play goal in its last four games.