Nashville
Predators
51-23-8
Columbus
Blue Jackets
33-42-7

23 SOG
24 SOG
1st2nd3rdT
NSH
CBJ
game recap

Predators 3, Blue Jackets 1

Tuesday, 06.19.2012 / 2:19 AM

Associated Press

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) -Less than two months in the season, the Nashville Predators are already preparing for the playoffs.

Paul Kariya and Martin Erat each had a goal and an assist as the Predators - two points ahead of Detroit atop the Central Division - beat the Columbus Blue Jackets 3-1 Monday night.

"Winning hockey games is our job. We want to improve our game. You want to keep improving and then when playoff time comes, you're ready," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said.

Tomas Vokoun lost his shutout bid when Jason Chimera scored with 15 seconds left but finished with 23 saves in his 10th win of the season. Scott Nichol also scored for Nashville, which has won 13 of 16.

"Really close," he said of the timing of Chimera's goal. "I'm not the kind of guy who's worried about shutouts. You'd rather not give up goals, but we got the win."

The Blue Jackets have dropped a season-high six straight. They entered with the fewest points (11) and goals scored (39) in the NHL and were nearly shut out for the third time in five contests.

"We are not getting the job done from an offensive standpoint. For the most part, we played well defensively, we are just not generating anything offensively," Blue Jackets interim coach Gary Agnew said.

Columbus' Adam Foote, who entered a team-worst minus-11, couldn't keep a bouncing puck in the Nashville zone. Erat banked a lead pass off the boards to Kariya, who scooped it up, cut in alone down the left wing and beat goaltender Fredrik Norrena with a backhand move to make it 1-0 at 9:49 of the first period.

"The last two or three games I've had a lot of chances, and the puck is going in. It's always nice to score," Kariya said.

Nashville made it 2-0 early in the second period on a power-play goal by Nichol. Steve Sullivan skated the length of the ice and fended off several Blue Jackets players. He put on the brakes and sent a cross-ice pass to David Legwand at the left circle. Legwand one-timed the puck to Nichol for a tap-in.

Sullivan has seven points in four games and leads the team with 21 points.

Columbus played with little enthusiasm early, registering only five shots midway through the game.

On a delayed penalty late in the period, Nashville worked the puck around. Kariya sent a shot toward the net that was redirected by Erat to make it 3-0 at 18:28. The goal ended his nine-game drought.

Chimera jammed home a lose puck in the slot for his second of the season.

Notes: Columbus is 0-4 under Agnew. ... The teams don't meet again until Jan. 12. ... Columbus LW Rick Nash, who left Saturday's game against Nashville with a sore groin, didn't play.

scoring summary
1st Period
09:49
NSH
Paul Kariya (4) Backhand shot - ASST: Martin Erat (12)
1 - 0 NSH
2nd Period
05:13
NSH
PPG - Scott Nichol (4) Tip-in - ASST: David Legwand (9), Steve Sullivan (15)
2 - 0 NSH
18:28
NSH
Martin Erat (5) Tip-in - ASST: Paul Kariya (14), Marek Zidlicky (10)
3 - 0 NSH
3rd Period
19:45
CBJ
Jason Chimera (2) Wrist shot - ASST: Anders Eriksson (6), Nikolay Zherdev (4)
3 - 1 NSH
penalty summary
1st Period
00:37
NSH
Jason Arnott  Interference against  Aaron Johnson
15:00
CBJ
Ole-Kristian Tollefsen  Fighting (maj) against  Jordin Tootoo
15:00
NSH
Jordin Tootoo  Fighting (maj) against  Ole-Kristian Tollefsen
18:12
CBJ
Rostislav Klesla  Tripping
18:35
NSH
Kimmo Timonen  Interference against  Jason Chimera
19:44
CBJ
David Vyborny  Holding the stick against  Paul Kariya
2nd Period
03:23
CBJ
Jason Chimera  Interference
10:32
CBJ
Alexander Svitov  Hooking
3rd Period
01:14
CBJ
Alexander Svitov  Holding against  Scott Hartnell
03:16
CBJ
Adam Foote  Slashing against  Ryan Suter
14:38
NSH
Martin Erat  Closing hand on puck
goalie stats
Tomas Vokoun
Tomas Vokoun
SA: 24TOI: 59:59
Saves: 23EV: 19 - 20
PIM: 0PP: 0 - 0
SV%: .958SH: 4 - 4
Fredrik Norrena
SA: 23TOI: 59:29
Saves: 20EV: 17 - 19
PIM: 0PP: 3 - 4
SV%: .870SH: 0 - 0
Columbusbluejackets.com is the official Web site of the Columbus Blue Jackets. The Columbus Blue Jackets and columbusbluejackets.com are trademarks of The Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey Club.  NHL and the word mark and image of the Stanley Cup are registered trademarks and the NHL Shield and NHL Conference logos are trademarks of the National Hockey League. All NHL logos and marks and NHL team logos and marks as well as all other proprietary materials depicted herein are the property of the NHL and the respective NHL teams and may not be reproduced without the prior written consent of NHL Enterprises, L.P.  Copyright © 2009 Columbus Blue Jackets Hockey Club and the National Hockey League.  All Rights Reserved. View the Columbus Blue Jackets Privacy Policy AdChoices NHL.com Terms of Service
Please use the feedback form if you have any recommendations or comments.