Predators 5, Blue Jackets 2

Bucky Dent, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

NASHVILLE -- Hockey games last 60 minutes, but Nashville needed just over three to put an end to Columbus' franchise-record streak of 12 games with a point.
Pumping four goals past Sergei Bobrovsky midway through the first period, the Predators won their second straight game Saturday night with a 5-2 decision at Bridgestone Arena.
Both teams are 13-13-6 with a third of their season remaining, but it was Nashville which gained ground for one of eight playoff spots in the Western Conference. It did so with a sudden offensive outburst against a hot goalkeeper.
Bobrovsky entered the contest with an 8-0-2 record, a 0.98 goals-against average and a .967 save percentage in his last 10 appearances. But the NHL's No. 2 goalie in overall save percentage (.932) got hooked after barely responding to Matt Halischuk's wrist shot over his glove (left) hand that gave the Predators a 4-1 lead at 10:15.
Rookie Taylor Beck started Nashville's assault with his first career goal in just his third game, ripping a 35-foot wrister over Bobrovsky's glove at 7:11. Shea Weber followed with a power play goal at 8:21, snapping Bobby Butler's diagonal pass into an open net from 35 feet out.
After R.J. Umberger got the Blue Jackets on the board with a power play tally at 9:29, David Legwand potted a rebound 17 seconds later. Halischuk's goal, just his second of the year, finished the onslaught.
Artem Anisimov pulled Columbus within two at 14:53 of the second period when his wrist shot deflected off the stick of Predators center Mike Fisher and past Pekka Rinne. But Rinne couldn't be solved after that, finishing with 21 saves.
Nashville's Roman Josi tacked on an empty-net power play goal at 19:36 of the third period.
NOTES: Nashville left winger Rich Clune picked up a five-minute major for interference and a game misconduct at 10:27 of the first period. Columbus had 1:53 of five-on-three during Clune's penalty after Mike Fisher was nailed for goalkeeper interference but managed just three shots on goal and didn't score during its extended manpower advantage. ... Predators defenseman Hal Gill (lower-body injury) returned after missing the past 12 games. ... Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski (foot) missed his 12th straight game but he hopes to play during a four-game road trip. ... Nashville sent forward Craig Smith to Milwaukee of the AHL for a conditioning assignment. Smith, who played in the team's first 30 games, was scratched Thursday night after poor play in a 4-3 loss on Tuesday night at Columbus.

What to Read Next