[7:00 CT] - [Bridgestone Arena] - [TV: None] - [Radio: Listen]
After basking in the glow of five straight wins, the Nashville Predators were given a reality check last night in a 4-1 loss to the Washington Capitals on Tuesday. Their late-game magic ran out and the Capitals brought the Predators back to earth.
But Nashville has moved on and turned its attention to the Columbus Blue Jackets who come to the Bridgestone Arena tonight.
"Obviously it's a huge game tomorrow," Jordin Tootoo said yesterday. "We wanted that one last night, but some nights don't go your way. We definitely had a lot of chances, and we've just gotta bear down on our chances and capitalize."
Tootoo also said that games against Western Conference foes, and especially those within the division, are even more important with the standings as tight as they are.
"Any time you play a divisional team, it's always a big game. It's a four point game," Tootoo said. "We wanna have that game going into the break here."
Here are a few story lines to look for tonight:
The last time the Predators saw Columbus in Nashville, the Blue Jackets snapped a Music City losing streak that dated back to the start of the 2006 season.
So will the Predators have revenge on their mind tonight? Forward Colin Wilson says he will.
"We've seen them a lot this year, and they got their first win in a couple of years in our building," Wilson said. "We want to take that back, so that's what we're concentrating on."
Barry Trotz, however, thinks otherwise.
"There's no payback. We lost last night, we gotta win the next game," he said. "That's how I look at it. You can only have one game losing streaks."
Blum and Geoffrion back in the lineup
After brief stints in Milwaukee, defenseman Jonathan Blum and forward Blake Geoffrion returned to NHL action on Tuesday night against the Washington Capitals.
Geoffrion played primarily on the fourth-line with Jerred Smithson and Brian McGrattan, but preformed well in a limited role.
"That line was actually pretty good," Trotz said. "You don't expect a lot of goals out of them, but they're banging and crashing and trying to create some havoc. They drew a couple of penalties. So from that standpoint, I thought they were pretty good."
Blum's night, however, didn't go quite as smooth. He was turned around by Ovechkin in the first period, a play that led to Washington's first goal of the game.
"He got off to a little rocky start, but I think he stabilized after that," Trotz said about Blum's play. "He's a young guy. He's gotta stabilize his game and find ways to be a contributing player on a night in and night out basis. After the Ovechkin goal I thought he actually settled in pretty good.
"I laugh because when you say, 'Hey you're going down,' the one thing that all young guys say well, 'What did I do wrong? What did I do this?' But maybe you didn't do anything wrong. Maybe you didn't do enough. That's probably a better answer than, 'Did I do something wrong?' No, maybe you're not doing enough."
And Blum is expected to be in the lineup once again tonight against Columbus. Trotz was doubtful that Kevin Klein would return to action after missing Tuesday's game with the flu.