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Columbus Blue Jackets @ Nashville Predators: Game Day Preview

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[NHL.com] - [SB Nation] - [The Cannon]

5:00 PM | 102.9 FM | Center Ice Only

The Nashville Predators look to build on their win against the Minnesota Wild, with a matchup late this afternoon at home against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Columbus, often viewed as the weak younger brother in the Central Division, is actually one point ahead of the Predators in the standings. Along with picking up some momentum in one of just three home games this month, Nashville really needs to pick up points against their rivals. 

After the jump, lineups and thoughts.

Lineups

Nashville

Rinne only made 22 saves against Minnesota, but many of them were of the spectacular variety. He appears to be fully healthy.

Pekka Rinne

#35 / Goalie / Nashville Predators

6-5

207

Nov 03, 1982

GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO
2010 - Pekka Rinne 23 1323 9 10 51 2.31 630 579 .919 3

These lines were successful last night, so I don't see any reason why they'd change. They give the Preds three scoring lines and one above-average shutdown unit. 

Forwards
Hornqvist - O'Reilly - Dumont
Kostitsyn - Goc - Klasen
Wilson - Legwand - Svatos
Smithson - Spaling - Ward
Defense
 Suter (A) - Weber (C)
Klein - Bouillon (A)
Franson - O'Brien

Columbus

The Jackets have been working the platoon so far, with varying success.

GP MIN W L EGA GA GAA SA SV SV% SO

2010 - Steve Mason

2010 - Mathieu Garon

24

19

1273

1033

12

8

9

6

67

40

3.16

2.32

695

461

628

421

.904

.913

1

3

To their credit, Columbus has a very underrated group of forwards - they just can't always get it together. Mike Commodore has been healthy scratched in 5 of the past 6 games. 

Forwards
Huselius - Vermette - Nash (C)
Umberger (A) - Brassard - Voracek
Moreau - Pahlsson - Clark
Dorsett - MacKenzie - Boll
Defense
 Klesla - Methot
Stralman - Tyutin
Hejda - Russell

Thoughts

  • If you're looking for offensive fireworks, you've come to the wrong place - these two teams are the worst in the conference on the power play, and are in the bottom half of the league in goals per game. What you can expect, however, is great defense and lots of hitting. The Preds and Jackets don't much care for each other and both play a hit you in the mouth style of hockey.
  • Somewhat under the radar, the Predators' power play has gone 7-33 in the past ten games, of which the team has lost five. Getting a lot of time on the power play during this run of good production? Sergei Kostitsyn, who is up to 16 points - fifth on the team behind Steve Sullivan, Cal O`Reilly, Martin Erat, and Shea Weber.
  • In all five of their previous losses, Nashville had given up the first goal each time. It was no coincidence, then, that when they got the first goal of the game against the Wild, victory was in the cards - the Preds win when scoring first over 70% of the time.