Final

Series (Game 5 of 6)

Nashville leads 5-1

Game 1: Saturday, November 21st
Blue Jackets3Final
SO
Predators4
Game 2: Thursday, December 10th
Blue Jackets3Final
SO
Predators4
Game 3: Monday, December 14th
Predators5Final
Blue Jackets3
Game 4: Thursday, December 31st
Predators2Final
OT
Blue Jackets1
Game 5: Tuesday, January 26th
Predators2Final
Blue Jackets3
Game 6: Saturday, March 20th
Blue Jackets0Final
OT
Predators1

Predators 2

(29-20-3, 61 pts)

Blue Jackets 3

(21-25-9, 51 pts)

7:00 PM ET, January 26, 2010

Nationwide Arena, Columbus, Ohio

1 2 3 T
NSH 0 0 22
CBJ 0 1 23

D. Brassard (Blue Jackets - C): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

S. Mason (Blue Jackets - G): Saves: 29, Save Pct.: .935

F. Modin (Blue Jackets - LW): Goals: 1, Assists: 0

Predators-Blue Jackets Preview

STATS LLC

The Nashville Predators are in a bit of a slump. They should have a good chance to end it with a game against the Columbus Blue Jackets on tap.

The Predators look to avoid a fourth straight loss Tuesday night when they try to improve to 5-0 against the last-place Blue Jackets this season.

Nashville (29-19-3) has dominated Columbus (20-25-9) over the years, going 22-2-2 against its Central Division rival since 2006-07. That includes four victories this season, with David Legwand and Martin Erat contributing two goals and two assists apiece.

Pekka Rinne and Dan Ellis have split the four starts against Columbus in 2009-10. Ellis made both starts at Nationwide Arena, posting a 2.00 goals-against average.

The Blue Jackets have gained three points in the losses, falling twice in shootouts and once in overtime. Star forward Rick Nash failed to record a point in three of the four meetings.

The Predators will try to take advantage of a Blue Jackets team that has had trouble early, giving up the game's first goal in the opening four minutes of seven straight contests. Columbus yielded a goal 3:41 into a 4-2 loss at Minnesota on Saturday after allowing one within the first 2:29 in its previous six games.

"Obviously, we set ourselves back early and we find ourselves having to play back for the rest of it," goaltender Steve Mason said. "Obviously it's not the way you want to start hockey games. We have to find a way to not let that happen."

The Blue Jackets lost two of three on their road trip. They won 3-2 at Boston on Thursday, but needed Nash and Antoine Vermette to score in the final 30 seconds to avoid a shutout Saturday.

"We're desperate for points," Nash said. "If we're going to make a run here we need to start it right now. I thought we played desperate on Thursday night, but tonight we didn't play desperate for the full 60."

Mason went 2-9-1 with a 3.56 GAA in his last 12 starts, and is 0-1-1 with a 3.88 GAA in two outings against Nashville this season. He went 33-20-7 with a 2.29 GAA to win the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie last season.

Nashville lost the first two games of its four-game trip that concludes Friday against Detroit.

The Predators didn't do Rinne any favors in a 2-1 loss to Colorado on Friday, giving the Avalanche nine power-play opportunities -- a season high for Nashville.

"We played a pretty good game but we took too many penalties," right wing Patric Hornqvist said. "We had four penalties in the offensive zone and that's not good. They scored two PP goals and we scored one. That was the difference."

Rookie defenseman Cody Franson had the lone goal for the Predators, their first with the man advantage in five games.

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