Predators 4, Blue Jackets 0

COLUMBUS, Ohio -- After a slow start this season, goaltender Marek Mazanec is starting to make the Nashville Predators feel a whole lot better while All-Star Pekka Rinne is healing.

Mazanec, a 22-year-old rookie, pitched a 19-save shutout -- his second perfect outing in eight days -- as the Predators blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets 4-0 at Nationwide Arena on Wednesday.

The Predators have won five of their last six games after suffering a four-game losing streak earlier this month.

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The Blue Jackets looked lethargic after returning Monday from an eight-day, five-game road trip through Canada. They lost five of their last six games at Nationwide.

Centers Matt Cullen, Mike Fisher, David Legwand and Nick Spaling scored for the Predators, while left winger Gabriel Bourque and defenseman Ryan Ellis had two assists each.

Mazanec improved to 5-1 with a .955 save percentage in his last six starts, with wins over Chicago, Detroit, Toronto and Phoenix before Wednesday. He also had a 27-save shutout -- a 2-0 win -- against the Detroit Red Wings at Joe Louis Arena on Nov. 19.

The Blue Jackets returned home from a long road trip with a thud. Less than 48 hours after a 6-0 rout in Toronto, the Jackets suffered their worst home loss so far this season.


Goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky continued his spotty play, stopping 25 of 29 shots. While he got no support offensively, Bobrovsky got very little defensively, too, as the Blue Jackets suffered several breakdowns and were outhustled to several loose pucks.

The Blue Jackets were outshot 14-4 in the first period, which set a tone for the entire evening.

At 9:58 of the first, Ellis made a picture-perfect cross-zone pass to Cullen, who one-timed the puck inside the near post before Bobrovsky could get there.

Only 54 seconds in the second, the Predators pushed the lead to 2-0 on the power play. Bourque's shot struck Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski after and dropped into the slot, where Fisher stood to bury it.


Legwand made it 3-0 at 8:56 of the second when he outhustled two Blue Jackets to a loose puck in front of Bobrovsky.

The lead grew to 4-0 early in the third. At 2:02, Spaling wired a wrist shot through traffic and past Bobrovsky.

NOTES: An MRI for injured Predators G Pekka Rinne was pushed to early December, the club announced. Rinne has been out since October with an infection in his hip. ESPN reported the infection was E coli. The MRI was delayed because of scheduling difficulty around the Thanksgiving holiday, the Predators said. ... Blue Jackets C Brandon Dubinsky is out indefinitely with a bone bruise in his lower left leg. He missed his fourth straight game. ... With Dubinsky sidelined, the Blue Jackets are without their three highest-paid forwards: RW Marian Gaborik ($7.5 million), RW Nathan Horton ($5.3 million) and Dubinsky ($4.65 million). ... Nashville was sad to see the Blue Jackets head to the Eastern Conference. The Predators are 50-23-1 all-time against the Blue Jackets.