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Nashville's Rinne shuts out Blue Jackets

Jan 20, 2012 - 3:35 AM
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Pekka Rinne made 38 saves en route to his fourth shutout of the season and 24th of his career as the Nashville Predators blanked the Columbus Blue Jackets, 3-0, at Nationwide Arena on Thursday.

"He was great," Predators head coach Barry Trotz said of his goaltender. "I thought we did a pretty good job of letting him see the puck."

Martin Erat finished with a goal and an assist, while Mike Fisher and Shea Weber also scored for the Predators, who rebounded from a 3-0 loss to the New York Rangers on Tuesday and have won six of their last seven games.

Steve Mason was tagged for two goals on 24 shots in defeat for the Blue Jackets, who have lost four of their last six contests.

To make matters worse for the Blue Jackets, defenseman Radek Martinek was ruled out for the remainder of the season with post-concussion symptoms.

To fill the void, the club signed veteran defenseman Brett Lebda to a one-year contract.

After a scoreless first period, the Predators struck for a pair of goals in the second to take a 2-0 edge into the third period.

Nashville's opening goal came at 11:08 of the second frame when Sergei Kostitsyn collected an errant pass in the neutral zone on the right wing and went in on a 2-on-1 with Erat. Kostitsyn slowed down and slid the puck across to Erat, who slammed it home from in close.

The Preds' second goal came on the power play at 13:11 of the second stanza after Erat accepted a pass in the right circle from Roman Josi, held the puck and found Fisher, who tapped it home from the left of the net.

Columbus pulled Mason with less than a minute to play, but were unable to get any pressure on net and Weber capped the scoring with an empty-netter with 31.8 seconds left.

The Blue Jackets failed to score on three power-play opportunities and were shut out for the first time this season.

"I thought we played a pretty good game," Blue Jackets interim head coach Todd Richards said. "We made one mistake, we broke before they did. We're obviously disappointed with the result, but I feel like we're doing some good things out on the ice."

Game Notes

Columbus wrapped up a four-game homestand with Thursday's tilt. They went 2-2-0 in that span...Nashville is 8-2-2 against the Central Division this season, including a 5-1-1 mark on the road...Nashville finished 1- for-2 with the man advantage...The Blue Jackets will visit the Detroit Red Wings on Saturday, while Nashville will face the Chicago Blackhawks, also on Saturday.