Nashville at Columbus

Kariya, Predators master lackadaisical Blue Jackets

CBS SportsLine.com wire reports
  •  

COLUMBUS, Ohio-- 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.
Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
Blue Jackets goalie Pascal Leclaire reacts to an unexpected visitor -- Paul Kariya -- in the crease. (AP)
Blue Jackets goalie Pascal Leclaire reacts to an unexpected visitor -- Paul Kariya -- in the crease. (AP)

Scoreboard
Nashville  (13-4-2) «1203
Columbus (5-13-1)0011
Three Stars
P. Kariya
NSH


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
M. Erat
NSH


Goals: 1
Assist(s): 1
F. Modin
CLB


Goals: 0
Assist(s): 0
Scoring Summary
1ST PERIOD
09:49Paul Kariya (4), Backhand Shot - Assist: Martin Erat
2ND PERIOD
05:13Power Play - Scott Nichol (4), Tip-In - Assists: David Legwand, Steve Sullivan
18:28Martin Erat (5), Wrist Shot - Assists: Paul Kariya, Marek Zidlicky
3RD PERIOD
19:45Jason Chimera (2), Tip-In - Assists: Anders Eriksson, Nikolai Zherdev
Penalty Summary
1ST PERIOD
00:37Arnott: Interference - 2 min.
15:00Tootoo: Fighting - 5 min.
15:00Tollefson: Fighting - 5 min.
18:12Klesla: Tripping - 2 min.
18:35Timonen: Interference - 2 min.
19:44Vyborny: Holding the stick - 2 min.
2ND PERIOD
03:23Chimera: Interference - 2 min.
10:32Svitov: Hooking - 2 min.
3RD PERIOD
01:14Svitov: Holding - 2 min.
03:16Foote: Slashing - 2 min.
14:38Erat: Closing Hand on Puck - 2 min.
SHOTS ON GOAL
 123T
Nashville88723
Columbus461424
Goalies
GoalieMINSSGA
Tomas Vokoun59:59231
Fredrik Norrena59:29203
GAME INFORMATION
Attendance - 16174
Game Time - 60:00
Referees - Brad Meier, Ian Walsh
Line Judges - Lyle Seitz, Jay Sharrers
 
Other Games
Fla 3 Final
Bos 2
Pitt 5 Final
Phi 3
TB 2 Final
Buf 7
NYI 2 Final
Tor 4
Min 3 Final
Ott 5
Colo 4 Final
Dal 5