The Nashville Predators and their elite defensive group dominated the Columbus Blue Jackets by a final score of 5-1.
The Predators scored early and often, scoring twice in the first two frames and once in the final one. James Neal netted his 30th of the season 3 minutes in; Ryan Johansen (player to watch) and Roman Josi had the assists. At 17:33, Mattias Ekholm scored his 8th of the season; Ryan Ellis and Mike Riberio had the assists. At 6:11 into the second period, Craig Smith scored his 19th of the season; Weber and Josi had the assists. At 14:14, captain Shea Weber netted his 18th goal of the season on the power play; Riberio and Filip Forsberg had the assists. The final goal of the game came 23 seconds in from Calle Jarnkrok for his 14th of the season; Josi and Neal had the assists. Pekka Rinne stopped 18 of 19 shots for a 0.947 save percentage (94.7%).
Columbus had one goal and it came in the first period. Boone Jenner scored his 28th of the season 11:52 into the game; Brandon Saad had the lone assist. The Jackets witnessed the debut of Dean Kukan, a Swiss defenseman they signed this summer to a two year entry level deal. He had the least amount of ice time (14:45), and had two giveaways. Seth Jones was the player to watch for me as he returned to Nashville. He led the Blue Jackets defensive group with 25:37, and had 3 shots on net alongside a hit and two giveaways, with one resulting in a goal for Craig Smith. Joonas Korpisalo stopped 43 of 48 shots for a 0.896 save percentage (89.6%).
CBJ Three Stars of the Night
1. Boone Jenner- goal (28)
2. Brandon Saad- assist (20)
3. Joonas Korpisalo- 5GA on 48SA (89.6 SV%)
More to come…