for this game

Preds open campaign with win over Jackets

Oct 8, 2011 - 3:11 AM
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Ryan Suter, Craig Smith and Matt Halischuk tallied for the Nashville Predators as they hung on for a 3-2 win over the Columbus Blue Jackets in the season opener for both teams.

"It's the first game of the year and everyone is ramped up. In the first period we had to weather the storm. We have some young guys with some jets on them," Suter said.

Pekka Rinne stopped 32-of-34 shots in net for the Predators, who were eliminated by the Vancouver Canucks in six games in the conference semifinals last season.

"Pekka Rinne was solid for 60 minutes," said Blue Jackets head coach Scott Arniel. "We were throwing lots of rubber at him, at the very end there we had some great chances."

Blue Jackets center Jeff Carter made his much anticipated debut and contributed two assists.

Carter was acquired from the Flyers in exchange for Jakub Voracek, a first- round pick (Sean Couturier) and third-round pick (Nick Cousins) in the 2011 NHL Entry Draft.

With the addition of Carter, the Blue Jackets are trying to improve on their 13th-place finish in the Western Conference last year.

Rick Nash and Vinny Prospal netted the two goals for the Blue Jackets, who got 28 saves from Steve Mason.

The Predators capitalized on their second of back-to-back power play opportunities early in the second period, when Ryan Suter found the back of the net to make it 1-0.

Sergei Kostitsyn forced Mason to come out of goal and made a nice feed to Suter, who wristed it home on an open net from the left wing at 5:10.

The Blue Jackets tied the score when Prospal cleaned up a loose puck in the crease with 5:41 left in the period. Carter had the initial shot on goal that trickled through Rinne's pads.

The Predators tallied a few minutes later, when Smith lit the lamp on a backhand. Shea Weber put the puck on net and Smith followed.

Nashville made it 3-1 just 39 seconds into the third period.

Halischuk scored on a spinning backhand in front of Mason off a nice pass from Cal O'Reilly.

Columbus cut the deficit to one at the midway point of the third, when Nash tallied. Prospal was unable to put home a wrap-around attempt, but Nash was there to put it home.

Game Notes

Carter spent the previous six seasons with the Flyers. He was the leading scorer for Philadelphia in each of the last three seasons...Since the start of the 2007-08 season, only four players have scored more than Nash and Carter; Washington's Alex Ovechkin (203), New Jersey's Ilya Kovalchuk (167), Calgary's Jarome Iginla (160), Minnesota's Dany Heatley (145), Carter (144) and Nash (143)...Nashville has won six of its past eight season openers.