Franson scored 1:54 into overtime and Rinne posted his second straight shutout as the Nashville Predators stretched their winning streak to five games with a 1-0 victory over the Blue Jackets on Saturday.
|Complete Playoff Race|
Rinne and Columbus counterpart Steve Mason were equally stingy during regulation time. Rinne stopped all 32 shots he saw in the first 60 minutes and then one more in overtime. Mason made 30 saves, all before the extra session.
"When the game is 0-0 in the third period, then you start thinking that you are only going to need one goal," Rinne said. "It was a very disciplined game. I think everyone knew it was just a matter of one goal."
Three of Rinne's last four wins have been by shutout. He has gone 132 minutes, 36 seconds without allowing a goal.
"He's been really sharp," Nashville coach Barry Trotz said. "He's doing a good job. He's moving, his hands have been good, he's been seeing the puck, and obviously playing very well for us."
Franson beat Mason with a slap shot from the right point through traffic. It was the rookie's sixth goal of the season and third game-winner.
"I didn't see anybody there and we had guys going to the net, so I just tried to put it there," Franson said. "It went off his blocker a little bit and trickled around and went over the line."
Mason thought he should have had the shot.
"I didn't read it off of his stick very well, and he has a hard shot," he said. "It snuck through I guess. At the end of the day, I made that one mistake there at the end and it cost the team the game."
Columbus had its two-game winning run snapped.
"Steve Mason, for me, was fabulous," Columbus coach Claude Noel said. "He saved us. "I thought everyone, from Mason right on up played tremendously. It was a great game for us."
The Predators have beaten the Blue Jackets 14 consecutive times in Nashville. It is the NHL's longest home winning streak over another team. All three of Nashville's home wins over Columbus this season have required extra time. The first two were decided in shootouts.
Rinne denied Columbus defenseman Mike Commodore on a breakaway 39 seconds into overtime. Commodore tried to beat Rinne with a wrist shot from the low slot, but the goalie snared it with his glove to keep the Predators' hope alive.
"It's not my year, it just isn't my year," Commodore said. "It's not like I practice those a whole lot, so I can't be too disappointed. I should have shot low. I shot high and he caught it."
Commodore has yet to score this season. His last goal came Feb. 14, 2009, a span of 73 games.
|Pekka Rinne stops 32 shots to win by shutout for the third time in his last four games. (AP)|
|Nashville (41-26-5) «||0||0||0||1||1|
Save Pct.: 1.000
Save Pct.: .968
|01:54||Cody Franson (7), Snap Shot. Assist: Erat, Wilson|
|13:10||Boll, 2 min, Boarding|
|11:19||Suter, 2 min, Interference|
|12:47||Dumont, 2 min, Bench - Too Many Men on the Ice|
|16:50||Commodore, 2 min, Slashing|
|04:09||Arnott, 2 min, High-Sticking|
|04:29||Stralman, 2 min, Interference|
|Shots On Goal|
|Attendance - 16363|
|Referees - Dan O'Halloran, Francois St-Laurent|
|Linesmen - David Brisebois, Jonny Murray|